TRANSWOMAN MAIRENA IS GRANTED CUSTODY OF HER CHILD
CIPAC/DDHH, a Costa Rican lesbian and gay organization, informed International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) that on March 24, 2003, transwoman Mairena was granted 'provisional custody' of the 9-year- old she had been taking care of since he was a baby. 'Provisional custody' is the first step in the way to legal adoption of a minor. The National Infancy Patronage (PANI) has stated that Mairena '... provided him food, care, upbringing, education, assistance, recreation, health, clothing, lodging, love and attended to other needs of him that today are considered as rights, fulfilling the role of a good parent'.
Based on that resolution, Mairena has already submitted a request to legally adopt the child, before the relevant Family Court.
No further action is required, for the moment. If you wish to congratulate Mairena and CIPAC/DDHH, please write to email@example.com
See www.iglhrc.org .
GLAAD ANNOUNCES PEOPLE OF COLOR MEDIA PROGRAM
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced it has launched a People of Color (POC) Media Program to promote fair, accurate and inclusive representations of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people of color in LGBT and mainstream media. The new media program is an outgrowth of GLAAD's ongoing strategic commitment to communities of color.
The POC media initiative will work to increase LGBT people of color representations in mainstream media and promote fair, accurate and inclusive portrayals of LGBT people in people of color media. 'With the growing visibility of Spanish-language, Asian Pacific Islander and African American media outlets, GLAAD recognized we must develop the internal cultural competencies to work effectively with these outlets and the communities they serve,' said GLAAD. The POC media program is part of the organization's new strategic plan to expand its capabilities to serve diverse markets.
MĂłnica Taher, formerly GLAAD's Western Regional Media Manager, has been appointed POC Media Director, and will be responsible to build the program. Loren Javier, who has worked as the organization's cultural interest media manager for nine years, will serve as an ongoing consultant to the program. GLAAD is actively recruiting for POC media managers to help build the program.
See www.glaad.org .
GLMA Decries Government HIV Censorship
The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association has decried trends in government health research funding agencies to censor language that refers to LGBT health or sexual practices.
Kenneth Haller, MD, President of GLMA, stated, 'According to our sources, e-mails to the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are being screened for sensitive keywords such as 'commercial sex workers,' 'needle exchange,' 'men having sex with men,' 'prostitutes,' 'trangender,' and 'harm reduction,' and some program staff have been reprimanded for 'inappropriate language.' In addition titles and abstracts of NIH grants are being screened for similar key words.'
CHILE: PROTEST POLICE ABUSE AGAINST TRANSVESTITES IN LOS ANDES
On Feb. 7, 2003, six transvestite sex workers were arbitrarily arrested and beaten by police officers in Los Andes, Chile, reports the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. Four transvestites experienced the same treatment Feb. 8. Police Chief Rodrigo Jonquera has declared to local media that he will 'clean up' the city—signaling his intention to expel transvestite sex workers from the streets.
IGLHRC joins TravesChile Aconcagua—the local chapter of TravesChile, the national trans organization—in asking for urgent protest letters to be sent to the Chilean authorities demanding an investigation into the abuses denounced by the transvestites and a stop to the violence against them.
Los Andes Governor, RenĂ© Canales Paves, Santa Rosa 280, Los Andes, Chile Fax: (56) 34 42 27 57.
Los Andes City Mayor, Manuel Rivera M., Esmeralda 536, Los Andes, Chile Fax: (56) 34 42 17 75, extension 158
See www.iglhrc.org .
LLEGĂ" Seeks Removal of Santorum From Leader Post
LLEGĂ"—the National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Organization—wrote to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Congressional Hispanic Conference Chair Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., in April asking that Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., be removed from his post as chairman of the Senate Republican Conference.
The call for Santorum's dismissal from the majority party's third highest position in the Senate comes in the wake of reported comments he made during an interview about a Supreme Court case challenging Texas sodomy law. According to the Associated Press, Santorum said, 'If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.'
'Senator Santorum's comments are an affront to the growing number of same-sex households raising children in loving and caring homes,' said MartĂn Ornelas-Quintero, LLEGĂ" executive director, in a letter to Frist and Diaz-Balart. 'Our families are as legitimate as heterosexual families, and deserve the same level of respect and recognition.'
Other sexual minority advocacy groups, including the nation's largest—the Human Rights Campaign—have also called for Santorum's removal from his Senate leadership position.