September 21st, 2011

Rick Santorum does not want to be confused with a frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter

Virulently anti-gay GOP presidential candidate Rick Santorum, who once told the Associated Press that his problem lies not with homosexuals but “with homosexual acts,” told Politico he has contacted Google
to ask that they remove links to sites that define his last name as “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.”

A campaign led by sex columnist Dan Savage,launched in the aftermath of the homophobic comment noted above, resulted in the construction of the neologism, which has since climbed to the top of Google’s search results for the former Senator’s name both organically, and through google bombing techniques.

“I suspect if something was up there like that about Joe Biden, they’d get rid of it,” Santorum is quoted as saying. “If you’re a responsible business, you don’t let things like that happen in your business that have an impact on the country.”

A Google spokesperson said the search engine’s results were merely “areflection of the content and information that is available on the web.” He told Politico that the company does not delete search results, adding that “[u]sers who want content removed from the Internet should contact the webmaster of the page directly.

Once the webmaster takes the page down from the web, it will be removed from Google’s search results through our usual crawling process.”

Pride & Prejudice

(no subject)

The gender-free British passport: UK travellers may no longer have to declare their sex, to spare feelings of 'transgender people'

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We don't need another identity crisis

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If you want to make a complaint about the article (not sure if you can about the blog post- they'll probably have a thing about it being the woman's own personal opinion), then the Mail's contact page is here, and the Press Complaints Commission's is here.

E. Coli Industry Being Crushed by Big Government Regulation. Market Forecasts Job Losses.

How Big Government Prohibition on Snake Oil is Costing Americans Jobs and Better Medical Care.

Michele Bachmann’s Latest Job Creation Idea: Less Food Safety Regulation, More E. Coli

GOP 2012 presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann yesterday brought her anti-government message to a meatpacking plant in Des Moines, Iowa, one day after she delivered the same rhetoric at a traffic light factory in Waterloo, Iowa (that depends on government contracts). At the meatpacking plant, Bachmann railed against regulations that protect the nation’s food supply, saying that they are “overkill” that is preventing job creation:

Bachmann says, as do most of those in the GOP field, that a lightened regulatory load would allow employers to spend money on expansion rather than federal compliance. But the Minnesota congresswoman is the first to focus the argument on the food-processing industry.

That’s part of the problem, the overkill,” Bachmann told reporters during an appearance in which she posed with huge slabs of beef. “And when they make it complicated, they make it expensive and so then you can no longer stay in business.”

As the Associated Press noted, Bachmann’s call to do away with food safety regulations “follows high-profile recalls of peanuts, eggs and other tainted food products.” Just last month, in the third-largest recall on record, food giant Cargill had to pull 36 million pounds of ground turkey out of stores after a salmonella outbreak linked to one of the company’s plants sickened nearly 80 people, killing one.

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Ron Paul Says Aide Who Died With $400k Medical Bill Didn’t Need Government Help

Ron Paul told TPM on Wednesday that even if there’s a “case or two” that makes Americans uncomfortable, the government should stay out of the health care business. Even if one of the cases in question is his former campaign manager, Kent Snyder, who died with $400,000 in unpaid medical bills after being unable to secure health insurance due to a pre-existing condition.

At a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, Paul took questions from reporters on Snyder, whose story surfaced in the press after Paul said in the last Republican debate that the government should not intervene even to save a comatose 30 year old who did not have insurance. As Gawker noted, Snyder died in June 2008 without health insurance, leaving behind $400,000 in bills. His friends and family set up a fund to raise money to pay off the debt. It’s not clear how much money they were able to raise: a site set up by Ron Paul aide Justine Lam to track the medical fund stopped updating in 2008 with only $34,870 in donations.

“Well first off, people do get care, even under this terrible situation we have in medicine today,” Paul told reporters when asked about his former aide. “Kent, my campaign manager, wasn’t denied any care at all.”

According to Snyder’s friends, he was unable to obtain affordable health insurance — rendering moot Paul’s advice at the debate to find coverage in advance — because of a preexisting condition. Under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies will no longer be able to reject customers on these grounds starting in 2013. I asked Paul whether Snyder’s inability to secure health insurance, even if he wanted it, put him in an impossible situation without government support. He suggested that states and counties could take action to help the sick, but put the emphasis on charity.
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Winged Shinigami

Tasmania to leglise gay marriage (maybe)

Tasmanian Lower House set to back gay marriage
Jackson Vernon and Felicity Ogilvie
Updated September 20, 2011 15:23:27

Tasmania's Lower House looks likely to become the first in Australia to vote in support of same-sex marriage.

Labor has indicated it will support a motion from its state power-sharing partners the Greens, who have tried and failed to introduce state-based same-sex marriage legislation in the past.

Greens leader Nick McKim last week announced the party would bring on a motion in Parliament this week expressing in-principle support for marriage equality and calling on the Federal Government to amend the Marriage Act.

If he succeeds, Tasmania's Lower House will become the first state Lower House in Australia to vote in support of same-sex marriage.

The motion is expected to be debated by Parliament tomorrow, but is unlikely to have Liberal support and there will be no Liberal conscience vote.

But the Greens' cause was helped when same-sex marriage was recently backed at the Tasmanian Labor Party's state conference.

Premier Lara Giddings says this is the position the Government will take to the Greens' motion.

In a statement, Ms Giddings said Tasmanian Labor supported the principle of same-sex marriage on the basis that it provided equality.

Like every other Labor branch in the country except for New South Wales, the Tasmanian ALP has supported same-sex marriage at its state conference.

Labor's support means the motion will be passed by the Parliament tomorrow, but the support will not be unanimous.

Deputy Opposition Leader Jeremy Rockliff says the Liberals believe marriage is between a man and a woman.

He describes Mr McKim's motion as a backdown from the Greens leader's attempts to legalise same-sex marriage in Tasmania.

"I find it extraordinary, firstly, that Mr McKim has backed down with respect to his legislation that he's tabled and not willing to debate that legislation," Mr Rockliff said.

"It seems to be a backdown now for a motion to be debated in the house tomorrow ... which would appear to be a compromise between Labor and the Greens."

But Mr McKim says his motion is not a compromise.

"What we are doing is seeking to be part of a national campaign here in order that the best possible outcome can occur, and that best possible outcome is for this issue to be resolved at a national level," he said.

"If that doesn't happen by the end of this year, then we will move ahead with our state-based same-sex marriage legislation in Tasmania and give the Parliament of Tasmania the opportunity to take a national lead."

Ms Giddings has said it was clear from constitutional advice that any lasting changes to the Marriage Act would have to occur at a national level.

I know that a lot of people don't even know where Tasmania is, but if this passes, it could be a start for the rest of the country to follow. Oh, and mods? There doesn't appear to be an 'Australia' or 'Oceania' tag. Could we get one?
Murasaki Shikibu
  • homasse

The Killing of Troy Davis

The Killing of Troy Davis

If the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles has its way, Troy Anthony Davis will be killed by lethal injection at 7 pm on September 21. His body will be carried out of the maximum-security prison in Jackson, the word “homicide” printed on his death certificate—the thirty-fourth US prisoner put to death this year.

The killing of Troy Davis would mark a devastating end to a case that inspired a global mobilization against the death penalty. Davis, 42, has faced execution four times in the past four years for a 1989 murder in Savannah, despite serious doubts about his guilt. His conviction hinged on nine witnesses—no physical evidence linked him to the crime—seven of whom later recanted their testimony. Some described being coerced by police. Others point to a different man—the eighth witness, who first implicated Davis—as the real killer. “If I knew then what I know now,” juror Brenda Forrest said in 2009, “Troy Davis would not be on death row.”

Forrest was one of several people who met with members of the pardons board on September 19 to plead for Davis’s life. Others included Davis’s nephew De’Juan, who grew up visiting his uncle on death row and whose mother, Davis’s sister Martina Correia, has been his most tireless defender, while also battling breast cancer. Davis’s more high-profile supporters range from the pope to former FBI director William Sessions, who wrote recently, “It is for cases like this that executive clemency exists.”

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Sada Mire: Kicking Ass, Taking Names, and Becoming Somalia's Indiana Jones

Sada Mire fled Somalia's civil war as a child, and lived as a refugee in Sweden. But now she is back in the Horn of Africa as an archaeologist, making some incredible discoveries. Sada Mire is only 35, but she has already revealed a dozen sites that could be candidates for Unesco world heritage status. She has a fellowship in the department of art and archaeology at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and is head of the department of antiquities in the breakaway territory of Somaliland, in the north-west region of Somalia. She is the only archaeologist working in the region. It's a remarkable journey for a girl who fled Mogadishu in 1991, aged 14, as Somalia descended into the chaos of civil war.

Driving her forward is the urge to uncover and preserve a cultural heritage that has been systematically looted, both in colonial times and more recently by warlords trading national heritage for guns.The region has proved to be rich in archaeological wonders, which Sada Mire has been logging for the last four years with a team of 50 helpers. She has recorded ancient rock art at 100 sites, medieval Islamic towns, and pre-Islamic Christian burial sites. More than 1,000 such sites, she estimates, are still out there waiting to be put on the archaeological map of Somaliland. The most stunning of Ms Mire's discoveries is a vast series of rock art sites in Dhambalin, outside the seaside town of Berbera.The brightly coloured and beautifully preserved rock paintings, depicting domesticated animals, could be up to 5,000 years old. Men are depicted riding on the back of some of the animals, or with raised arms, as if worshipping the cattle. Wild animals such as giraffes - which no longer exist in this rocky, arid climate - also appear, suggesting a shift in weather patterns since the paintings were made. 

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mus | like a bird in a cage

The Time I Tried To Get An Abortion From A Crisis Pregnancy Center

I was sure all the men in suits in the lobby knew what I was doing. I hadn't expected it to be in an office building, or to have to choose from a list of what felt like a million names to find it. One of those men in suits followed me into the elevator. Still, I took a deep breath and pushed the button that would take me to the floor where I would have an abortion. Or so I thought.

I was twenty-one, and I figured I was about two or three weeks pregnant. I'd thought I might be pregnant before, because I was nauseous all the time, but a pregnancy test came out negative, and then I got my period. I got my period the next month too, but I decided to take another pregnancy test just in case. That one came out positive. My boyfriend of four months cried when I told him.

I'd always been pro-choice, but I'd also always said I'd never get an abortion myself. Still, once I was actually pregnant, I was pretty sure from the beginning what I would do. And I felt better knowing that I could take a couple of pills and stop being pregnant that way, because I believed I wasn't very far along. A friend who'd had an abortion two years earlier told me there'd be a sonogram, but it was just procedure and I'd barely even know it was happening. Looking back, that's the only reason I stayed, because if I had known what a Planned Parenthood looked like I wouldn't have stayed in the place where I ended up.

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Warm tone butterfly (by fruitpunch_it)

#richpeopleproblems: Education edition

Oblig *This is an editorial not a news piece* disclaimer

For the past decade, our parental angst, which had my husband tossing and turning at night and me frantic about freelance work (I remember dashing out of hospital within three days of an emergency caesarian to write an article), could be summed up in two little words: school fees. For most of us "squeezed" middle-class parents, our little treasure's education will set us back £30,000 a year (the average boarding school bill). For many of us this means not only giving up on luxuries such as exotic holidays and theatre outings, but also remortgaging our home, going begging to the in-laws, and moonlighting and other small humiliations.

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Slightly facetiously titled, but I wondered, _p, what do you think of the Public/private vs, state school debate and of education etc in general?

Doctor Who - 11 - Default

Did you know that African Americans are doing better in this recession than Whites? Yeah- me neither

Note: Trying to re-post with another link to the source since my html was messed up, and wasn't leading to the source originally.

Welcome to the Suburban Depression
by John Carney

The prolonged economic slump we've been in since before the financial crisis really is different than recent recession experiences, especially when it comes to those who now live in poverty.

The official U.S. poverty rate in 2007 was 12.5 percent. Following the calamities of 2008 it climbed upward and kept climbing. By 2009, the rate was 14.3 percent. In 2010 it went to 15.1 percent, according to U.S. Census data reviewed by Pro Publica.

There has not been so large a portion of Americans in poverty since 1993. But this time the growth in poverty is different, hitting whites and suburbia harder than it did during the early 1990s slump. African Americans, by contrast, appear to be doing better.

The poverty rate for whites was 13 percent in 2010. That compares to 12.2 percent in 1993, according to the Census Bureau.

The suburban poverty rate is 11.8 percent, a level not seen since 1967.

African Americans appear to be faring relatively better than they did in the early 1990s. In 1993 the poverty rate for African Americans reached 33.1 percent. Last year it was 27.4 percent.

It's not entirely clear why African Americans are faring so much better in this recession than in the last, at least in terms of poverty. It may be that social and economic progress in the intervening years has left African Americans less vulnerable to economic downturns.

A key factor in the rise in suburban poverty may be the fact that the housing market has played such a central role in the economic slump.

Many suburbs have seen a vast amount of wealth erased by declining housing markets and mortgage foreclosures, resulting in a great deal of economic dislocation. Since white Americans are more likely to own homes than African Americans, this could also explain why whites have fared worse than they did in the 1990s while African Americans have fared better. <-- Source.

BRB, looking for a new BS detector because I think mine broke after reading this.
Darren/People Photoshoot

LIVE POST: As of 11:08PM EST on 9/21, Troy Davis has been executed.


Leave links, twitters, articles, info, etc. in the comments and I'll edit the post as I get the chance. Just leave me a shout out in the subject of the comment or something


Update at approximately 10:20: Supreme Court has decided to not order a stay, with no dissents.

Update at 11:08: Troy Davis was pronounced dead. RIP


ETA: Article, thanks to ladypolitik and notgarystu

Troy Davis execution delayed while US supreme court considers stay
Ed Pilkington in Jackson, Georgia and agencies
Wednesday 21 September 2011 19.24 EDT

The execution of Troy Davis was delayed temporarily by the US supreme court on Wednesday night in a dramatic intervention just as he was due to be put to death by lethal injection.

The last-minute decision caused confusion outside the prison in Jackson, Georgia, where family, supporters and civil rights campaigners broke into celebration as they believed the court had granted Davis a stay of execution.

But it quickly emerged that the delay was only temporary, while the justices considered whether to issue a stay.

Until that moment it seemed almost certain that Davis would be executed, as the Georgia supreme court had rejected a last-ditch appeal by Davis's lawyers over the 1989 murder of off-duty policeman Mark MacPhail, for which Davis had been sentenced to death despite overwhelming evidence that the conviction is unreliable.

A Butts County superior court judge had also declined to stop the execution.

Davis's attorneys had filed an appeal challenging ballistics evidence linking Davis to the crime, and eyewitness testimony identifying Davis as the killer.

The White House declined to comment on the case, saying "it is not appropriate for the president of the United States to weigh in on specific cases".

At the maximum security prison in Jackson where the execution is scheduled to take place, busloads of Troy Davis supporters from his home town of Savannah came in to register their anger and despair at what they all agree is the planned judicial killing of an innocent man.

Edward Dubose, a leader of the Georgia branch of the NAACP, said it was not an execution, but a "murder".

The protest heard from Martina Correia, Davis's eldest sister, who delivered a statement from about 20 family members gathered around her. She was heavily critical of what she described as the defiance of the state of Georgia and its inability to admit that it had made a mistake.

She pointed out that the state's parole board had vowed in 2007 that no execution would take place if there was any doubt. "Every year there is more and more doubt yet still the state pushes for an execution," she said.

Correia, who has cancer, struggled to her feet in honour of her brother, just a few hours from his probable death. But she exhorted people not to give up.

"If you can get millions of people to stand up against this you can end the death penalty. We shouldn't have to live in a state that executes people when there's doubt."

Dubose gave an account of a 30-minute conversation he had with Davis on death row on Tuesday night. "Troy wanted me to let you know – keep the faith. The fight is bigger than him."

Dubose said that whether the execution went ahead or not, the fight would continue. He said Davis wants his case to set an example "that the death penalty in this country needs to end. They call it execution; we call it murder."

Hundreds of people gathered outside the prison many wearing t-shirts that said: "I am Troy Davis". The activist Al Sharpton said: "What is facing execution tonight is not just the body of Troy Davis, but the spirit of due justice in the state of Georgia."

Larry Coz, the executive director of Amnesty in the US, that has led the international campaign for clemency, said demonstrations were happening outside US embassies in France, Mali, Hong Kong, Peru, Germany and the UK.

"We will not stop fighting until we live in a world where no state thinks it can kill innocent people."

After winning three delays since 2007, Davis lost his most realistic chance at last-minute clemency this week when the Georgia pardons board denied his request despite serious doubts about his guilt.

Some witnesses who testified against Davis at trial later recanted, and others who did not testify came forward to say another man did it. But a federal judge dismissed those accounts as "largely smoke and mirrors" after a hearing Davis was granted last year to argue for a new trial, which he did not win.

Davis refused a last meal. He planned to spend his final hours meeting with friends, family and supporters.

Davis has received support from hundreds of thousands of people, including a former FBI director, former president Jimmy Carter and Pope Benedict XVI.

In Europe, where the planned execution has drawn widespread criticism, politicians and activists were making a last-minute appeal to the state of Georgia to refrain from executing Davis. Amnesty International and other groups planned a protest outside the US embassy in Paris later on Wednesday and Amnesty also called a vigil outside the embassy in London.

Parliamentarians and government ministers from the Council of Europe, the EU's human rights watchdog, called for Davis's sentence to be commuted. Renate Wohlwend of the council's parliamentary assembly said that "to carry out this irrevocable act now would be a terrible mistake which could lead to a tragic injustice".

The US supreme court gave him an unusual opportunity to prove his innocence last year, but his attorneys failed to convince a judge he didn't do it.

State and federal courts have repeatedly upheld his conviction.

Prosecutors have no doubt they charged the right person, and MacPhail's family lobbied the pardons board Monday to reject Davis's clemency appeal.
The board refused to stop the execution a day later.

"He has had ample time to prove his innocence," said MacPhail's widow, Joan MacPhail-Harris. "And he is not innocent."

Spencer Lawton, the district attorney who secured Davis's conviction in 1991, said he was embarrassed for the judicial system that the execution has taken so long.

"What we have had is a manufactured appearance of doubt which has taken on the quality of legitimate doubt itself. And all of it is exquisitely unfair," said Lawton, who retired as Chatham County's head prosecutor in 2008.

"The good news is we live in a civilized society where questions like this are decided based on fact in open and transparent courts of law, and not on street corners."

Davis supporters said they will push the pardons board to reconsider his case.

They also asked Savannah prosecutors to block the execution, although Chatham County district attorney Larry Chisolm said in a statement he was powerless to withdraw an execution order for Davis issued by a state superior court judge.

"We appreciate the outpouring of interest in this case; however, this matter is beyond our control," Chisolm said.

Huh?  From cail
  • sesmo

Cherokee Freed Men Citizenship restored

A positive story, and the conclusion to the saga previously posted.

Black Cherokees in Kansas City were ecstatic Tuesday after learning that the tribal citizenship they’d been fighting years for has been restored.

Their citizenship is regained through an agreement made in federal court between the Cherokee Nation and black Cherokees known as freedmen, an attorney said Tuesday.

“This is not temporary, where the Cherokee Nation gives freedmen citizenship until after the election and then tries to change it,” said Jon Velie, who was in court Tuesday on behalf of the freedmen.

The agreement came during a hearing in federal court in Washington. The parties have until this morning to submit a written agreement to the judge.

The agreement gives 2,800 freedmen all the benefits available to the Cherokee tribe, including tribal voting rights. And it extends the voting period for the upcoming election for principal chief to Oct. 8. Before Tuesday, that election was to take place this week.

“We have been vindicated,” said Willadine Johnson, whose ancestors, like other freedmen, were held as slaves by Cherokees. After the Civil War, Cherokees signed a treaty freeing its slaves and granting them full Cherokee citizenship.

“This is the way it always should have been,” Johnson said. “You can’t take my citizenship from me.”

In 2007 the nation stripped freedmen of their citizenship and suffrage rights, saying bloodline determined citizenship.

Read more:

I also thought the comment @ McClatchy was particularly insightful, and it's this:

From Commenter JohnnyMorale:

The Cherokee government was being particularly evil in this regard, because the "Freedmen" overwhelmingly have Cherokee Blood as well.

They were only excluded, because the rules defining such a thing were laid down by rolls taken over a century ago required documentation that someone was indeed part Cherokee.

Naturally being former slaves they did NOT have those documents, just as virtually NO Black person has documents to prove they have White ancestors despite recent genetic studies that determined the typical Black American is ON AVERAGE 20% White.

That is probably the reason why the agreement giving them those rights was written as an IRREVOCABLE CLAUSE.

In attempting to overturn them, the governing board clearly did NOT care, and in trying to do so acted unconstitutionally.

They had NO power to overturn an IRREVOCABLE amendment.

Afghanistan's Lone Female Air Force Pilot

Col. Latifa Nabizada, the only female pilot in the history of Afghan aviation, travels to some of the most remote and dangerous corners of her country with a devoted partner next to her in the cockpit — her 5-year-old daughter, Malalai.

They walk hand in hand as they head into the hangar at Kabul's Military Airport, and then board a chopper. They have flown together on more than 300 missions over the past few years, and Nabizada acknowledges the risks of having her daughter onboard.

But she says she has no choice. The air force has no child care facility.

"Trust me, when I have my daughter with me on the flight, I am really worried from the moment we take off to the moment we land," says Nabizada. "For me, it's my profession to go to dangerous areas. So if anything happens to me, it is expected. But why should something happen to my daughter? I am really worried."

U.S. military advisers have asked her not bring Malalai on missions — or at least move her out of the cockpit. But the little girl won't stand for it.

"As soon as they moved her, Malalai would throw a tantrum," Nabizada said. "She would grab my uniform and cry. Anyhow, I am confident of my abilities to control the helicopter while my daughter sits next to me."

The colonel says things could change next year when her daughter turns 6 and can start school.

A Long Journey

This is just one of the many challenges Nabizada has faced on her long journey to becoming a military pilot. It began in the late 1980s, when she and her sister, Lailuma, were the first female graduates of the Afghan Air Force Academy. Lailuma later died during childbirth.

After the Taliban seized control of the country in 1996, Nabizada fled to Pakistan. She later returned and rejoined the air force after the Taliban were ousted and the Afghan government began rebuilding the military.

Today, Nabizada's missions often involve supplying troops in remote areas or flying to disaster zones to help provide assistance.

Being a woman in the Afghan military is still not easy, but it has toughened her, she says. She is no longer harassed, she says, citing an Afghan saying that translates roughly as "steel gets harder with the hammering."

The Afghan air force still uses Russian helicopters, a legacy of the Soviet military occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s. The Soviets helped train a relatively large Afghan air force. But it was reduced to a few rickety planes and choppers in the 1990s, when the country was locked in a brutal civil war.

Rebuilding an air force is a tough task, says U.S. Brig. Gen. David Allvin, commander of the NATO Air Training Command in Afghanistan.

"Compared to the Afghan National Army and the Afghan National Police, it appears the progress has been much slower in the air force," he said. "To tell the truth, an air force takes longer to build."

Today, about 120 Afghan pilots are being trained outside the country, including 40 in the United States. Four Afghan women are among those training in America, hoping to follow in the footsteps of Nabizada.



ETA: Older article with Latifa Nabizada, then a Captain, that also has video of her and her daughter.
absinthe, wormwood

It's a continuous spectrum, not a stripy rainbow

The mainstream Western LGBT movement has become a commercialized monolith in the years since 1960s “gay liberation,” and its impact is in no way limited to the US and Europe.

This mainstream movement not only embraces a “with us or against us” mentality that demands queer people come out (as L, G, B, or T only) or be left behind, but it also creates a very narrow definition of acceptable genders and sexualities. The movement then punishes those who don’t fit into that definition by stigmatizing non-mainstream identities and refusing to allow these stigmatized gender and sexuality minorities to have a voice on legal and policy priorities.

There are countless examples of how the mainstream LGBT movement uses stigma to limit access to legal and policy agenda-setting to those who meet its narrow identity criteria. In this post I’d like to focus on two places in particular: the example of third-gender kathoeys in Thailand and the example of alternative queer genders and sexualities in the US.

In Thailand, as Sonia Katyal describes in her piece “Exporting Identity” (14 Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 97-176), there was an understanding before the Western mainstream LGBT movement showed up of three genders: male, female, and kathoey. If the word “gay” did come up, it would probably refer to a kathoey, but what Westerners would term “homosexual behavior” was generally private. When the Western LGBT movement arrived in the 1980s on the heels of globalization and the spreading AIDS crisis, a new masculine-identified image of the gay man showed up in Thai culture. “Gay” became public, seeking legitimacy through masculinity.

The word “gay,” Katyal posits, may have come into common use in Thailand specifically to distinguish these masculine-identified gay men who aligned themselves with the Western movement from kathoeys. Whereas gender identity had not previously been regulated by the state, the adoption of the Western LGBT model in Thailand made private public. Thai gay men turned social stigma on kathoeys, alienating both kathoey identity and effeminate gender expression. They began to define themselves in opposition to the newly-stigmatized kathoeys, who were then socially and legally sanctioned due to their public visibility. Ironically, they also became an easy target for state actors who objected to the arrival of the LGBT movement in Thailand.

This shift in understandings of gender and sexuality also affects access to legal and policy priorities in Thailand. As Katyal explains, kathoey identity is not a public sexuality, so rights such as protection from sexual orientation-based discrimination and the freedom to identify as gay without being harassed are far less important to this population than rights such as privacy, the legality of private sexual acts, the right to education, and the ability to legally identify as a third gender.

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shock-me-gray, bored, apathy

Serial killer's would-be victim condemns cash decision

6:00pm Wednesday 21st September 2011

Exclusive By Emily Walker, Chief Reporter

The man who cheated death at the hands of serial killer Dennis Nilsen has condemned a decision to give the murderer cash for a human rights claim.

Dennis Nilsen, who killed at least 17 men in the 1970s and 1980s has been awarded £55,000 to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights to try to publish his autobiography.

Carl David Stotter, 50, of Brighton, said he was enraged to hear Nilsen, who tried to suffocate and drown him, has been given aid - even though the victim has not received a penny in compensation for his ordeal.

Nilsen was refused permission to publish his manuscript by the highest courts in Britain so has taken his case to the European Court in Strasbourg.

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