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Belfast's annual Gay Pride parade takes place today
By Deborah Dundas
06 August 2005
Topping a week of events - including a fashion show and ball - the parade is the highlight of the Pride celebrations. It's also a chance for supporters and detractors alike to voice their opinion. Twelve floats and at least 3,000 people are expected to attend - with protesters expected to gather at City Hall.
This year hasn't been without controversy. Police asked the Parades Commission to rule on the parade after concerns were raised by some Christian groups that the parade was encouraging a "sinful lifestyle". Late last week, the Parades Commission ruled that the parade can go ahead. The route runs from Writer's Square, along Royal Avenue, past and around City Hall, winding through the city centre, then back to Writer's Square where there will be a big party. Crowds begin assembling at 12:00, with the parade starting at 2:00.
DEBORAH DUNDAS speaks to two members of the Pride Committee.
Sally Young, co-chair, Belfast Pride Committee
Pride Week is a celebration; it's acceptance and I think, now, it's about feeling connected. I always wanted to be involved in Pride. Since I've been working on it I've been making new contacts and friends, and it's given me a sense of belonging. It's also given me a support network. Plus, I love to dress up and have a party!
Belfast Pride is drawing more people internationally. Last year there were people from across the UK, Ireland, Germany, the United States, Canada, and more. In the past a lot of people would have left Northern Ireland because of their sexuality. Now people don't feel as threatened.
These days, there are lots more support groups for young gay people. When I was younger - I'm 35 now, originally from Carrickfergus - there weren't those kinds of groups.
More businesses and organizations are putting floats in the parade. Last year there were six, this year there will be 12. There's an informal competition to see whose float is the best - and the loudest! Over the last three years, the parade has taken on a carnival atmosphere. In the past it was more political.
I work at the Masque Project, which is part of New Belfast, a community arts organization. One of our groups is the Pride group, but we work with all different backgrounds.
One group of young people designs fashions. We're always looking for places to hold fashion shows so they can show off their designs. Pride organized Kube (now known as Mynt) as a venue. It's a gay bar; and we let the parents and community leaders know it was a gay bar. Everyone was fine with it and had a great time. When I think about the positive community relations that developed, I think it's great.
I work with kids and young people. I find it insulting for people to say that we're perverts when what I do for a living is provide child protection. I think the attitude comes from fear and ignorance - it's prejudice.
Some people, even within the gay community, say that Pride is too stereotyped with drag queens and so on. But the gay community is multi-faceted. And people need to get involved for it to be inclusive.
If you want to join the Pride Committee, then do. Everyone has something to offer.
Stephen Bruce, fashion show co-ordinator
Acceptance is a big thing in my life. I've been "out" for six years now; I'm 21 years old, originally from Belfast. When I came out, I told a friend, and she told her mother, who told my family. Certain members of my family didn't accept it, but most did. My brother will come to the parade with his girlfriend and my niece. I also have family and friends cutting their holidays short to come out and support Pride.
It's a political statement to show people we're human beings and deserve the same rights as everyone else. Love is a human right and people shouldn't be disgraced or ashamed. A lot of straight people are supporting us; all of the big unions are coming out, Amnesty International.
I see the Pride parade as a day to celebrate who you are, to be who you want to be. We'll always get abuse - get called queer or freak - but that doesn't bother me.
Gay Pride Week really depends on volunteers. It's funded by the community; we do fundraising events. We get a bit of money from City Council and Laganside, but the work the volunteers do is what makes it.
Taking part in last year's parade, I have never been so uplifted and happy, seeing all those people out to support us, people with their kids on their shoulders, clapping. I felt accepted.
It's not about saying "we're gay and we're here". I don't want to be a screaming "poof". I want people to know we are a community, and God does love us. I wouldn't say I am a strong Christian, but people shouldn't be beaten or ejected from their homes or petrol bombed just because they're gay.
I'm not ashamed of who I am and I won't hide in a cupboard. When I first came out, one of my brother's friends found out and phoned him up at three in the morning to tell him about it. My brother said he was proud of who I am.
It annoys me that people see all gay people as drag queens. Businesses who think that if they advertise that they're handing out fake tan for free and holding a Kylie Mynogue night, we're all going to come running. They're so busy chasing the "pink pound". But I have a normal life, an office job (I'm an administrator at a ferry company), straight friends. I don't always go out to gay night clubs.
I have friends and family in the PSNI, and it's great to see them supporting the gay community. They may not be marching, but they're supporting us. If we phone in a complaint of abuse, they respond. I'd like to see those police officers who are gay joining us some day.
When I walk down the streets of Belfast now, I know there are lots of people like me walking in the same streets. There is change happening with my generation. Our parents tend to be fine with our sexuality and support us.
My mother's legacy to me was never judge someone, whether they're Catholic, Protestant, black or white. I was brought up to be me and to accept others for who they are. We need more people like that in life.
Blue and yellow movies give way to pink
The Asian Lesbian Film and Video Festival is at Spot - Taipei Film House
By Ho Yi
Friday, Aug 05, 2005,Page 17 - Taipei Times
The first Asian Lesbian Film and Video Festival (ALFF) (第一屆亞洲拉子影展) is set to give rise to a new wave of homosexual movies at Spot -- Taipei Film House (台北光點) from tonight through Wednesday.
Organized by the Gender and Sexuality Rights Association Taiwan (台灣性別人權協會), with support from the Institute for Tongzhi Studies, City
University of New York and Spectra Studio for Asian Queer Media, New York City, ALFF is an international, collaborative showcase aimed at establishing a venue for media works made by or about lesbians and homosexual communities in the Asian region.
In view of current European- and US-centric trends whereby a lot of works made by Asian women focusing on their historical and cultural experiences are circulated outside Asia and in the West, ALFF intends to build up an independent channel for the dissemination of comparative perspectives on sexual-political issues.
The organizers have vowed to alter the "imagined" images of Asian lesbians seen in most Western discourses by voicing "real" and diverse Asian experiences dramatically different from those of their Western counterparts.
The festival has lined-up 31 films including features,
documentaries, experimental works from Taiwan, Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, among other Asian countries.
All the films are divided into six topical programs. These include a look at issues ranging from sexual/gender formation and identification, lesbian desire and sex, violence and social injustice, individual and collective experiences in the course of post/neo-colonial, capitalistic modernization, family values and patriarchal oppression and subversion of the mainstream.
Teaming up with the Center for Asia-Pacific/Cultural Studies, National Tsing Hua University, the festival will also arrange panel discussions, workshops and lectures held by invited artists and scholars to further explore the socio-cultural issues relating to gender and sexuality in inter-Asian context.
Those eager to participate in this event but who live outside Taipei, fear not. The festival will go on tour to central and southern Taiwan between September and December, and there are plans for screenings in China, Hong Kong and the Philippines next year.
Invited filmmakers from various Asian countries will also be present in Taipei for question-and-answer sessions after the screenings. Most of the works have both Chinese and English subtitles, with the exception of around eight films. Ticket price ranges from NT$180 to NT$200, available through http://www.artsticket.com.tw.
For more information, go to http://alff2005.gsrat.net, or call (02) 8251 0105.
What: Asian Lesbian Film and Video Festival
Where: Spot -- Taipei Film House, 18, Zhongshan N Rd, Sec 2, Taipei (臺北市中山北路二段18號).
When: Today until Aug. 10
Tickets: NT$180 to NT$200
Hankooki.com > The Korea Times > Arts & Living
Asia's First Lesbian Festival Opens
Asia’s first international lesbian film festival is taking place in Taipei, Taiwan, through Wednesday.
The First Asian Film and Video Festival is featuring 31 films from 10 countries, including South Korea, China, Japan, Malaysia and Canada.
``We hope that this film festival can help change the way Asians think about lesbians,’’ the director of the festival was quoted as saying by the Taiwanese media.
Lambda Legal Statement on Judge John G. Roberts and Romer v. Evans
(New York, August 4, 2005)-– Lambda Legal’s Executive Director, Kevin Cathcart responds to news reports regarding John Roberts’ involvement while an attorney at the law firm Hogan & Hartson in Romer v. Evans.
“Today there are news stories of John G. Roberts’ involvement in the landmark case Romer v. Evans. In that case the U.S. Supreme Court struck down an amendment to the Colorado Constitution that sought to prohibit the enactment of any and all legal protections against antigay discrimination in that state. Hogan & Hartson, a large law firm which employed Roberts at the time, was part of the legal team that challenged the discriminatory amendment.
“As is often the case in lawsuits of this magnitude, many lawyers and law firms participated in the Romer litigation. Lawyers in firms are often called on to play roles to support their firm’s work; the work is routine and as here, often goes without notice. This information, along with his much more extensive advocacy of positions that we oppose continues to raise significant questions for us. A primary issue for us is to what degree, if any, this work reflects on the judicial philosophy Judge Roberts would bring to the Supreme Court. This is one more piece that will be added to the puzzle in the vetting of John Roberts’ nomination.”
Lisa Hardaway 212-809-8585 ext.266; Cell: 402-369-2104 Lambda Legal is a national organization committed to achieving full recognition of the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and those with HIV through impact litigation, education, and public policy work.
For Immediate Release:
Thursday, Aug. 4, 2005
ROBERTS’ ROLE IN GAY CASE RE-EMPHASIZES NEED FOR FULL EXAMINATION
‘Judge Roberts’ involvement in the case is noteworthy, but his participation adds little to our understanding of how he would vote on the court,’ said HRC President Joe Solmonese.
WASHINGTON — Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese released the following statement today in response to a report in The Los Angeles Times that Supreme Court nominee John Roberts provided assistance to the plaintiffs in Romer v. Evans, the casethat overturned Colorado’s anti-gay Amendment 2 in 1996.
“Judge Roberts’ involvement in the case is noteworthy, but his participation adds little to our understanding of how he would vote on the court. The stakes are too high for guessing games over Judge Roberts’ stance.
The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.
US: Supreme Court Nominee Advised Group on Gay Rights - NY Times
1.1 婚姻の成立要件 〔1〕婚姻とは何か (pp. 38-39)
12.2 名前 〔2〕名の変更 (p. 269)
12.3 戸籍 〔2〕戸籍の仕組み (p. 270)
(1) 戸籍の編製 （中略）
2005年 8月 5日 (金) 16:45 - ロイター
August 5, 2005
Court Nominee Advised Group on Gay Rights
By SHERYL GAY STOLBERG
and DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK - New York Times
WASHINGTON, Aug. 4 - Judge John G. Roberts Jr., the Supreme Court nominee, gave advice to advocates for gay rights a decade ago, helping them win a landmark 1996 ruling protecting gay men and lesbians from state-sanctioned discrimination.
Judge Roberts, at the time an appellate lawyer for the Washington firm of Hogan & Hartson, did not write legal briefs or argue the case, lawyers involved said. But they said he did provide invaluable strategic guidance working pro bono to formulate legal theories and coach them in moot court sessions.
Judge Roberts did not disclose his role in the case to the Senate Judiciary Committee, which asked about pro bono work in a questionnaire. News of his participation was first reported Thursday in The Los Angeles Times, and it set off an immediate scramble on both the left and the right, upending perceptions of the nominee in both camps.
The White House immediately sought to reassure Judge Roberts's conservative backers, telephoning prominent leaders, including Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, but it appeared that not all of them had been convinced.
The 1996 case, Romer v. Evans, is considered a touchstone in the culture wars, and it produced what the gay rights movement considers its most significant legal victory. By a 6-to-3 vote, the Supreme Court struck down a provision of the Colorado Constitution that nullified existing civil rights protections for gay men and lesbians and also barred the passage of new antidiscrimination laws.
"It's one more piece of the puzzle as we keep trying to find out who John Roberts is," said Kevin Cathcart, executive director of Lambda Legal, the advocacy group that helped bring the Romer case. "Where does this fit in on his judicial philosophy and his view of the Constitution?"
Indeed, Judge Roberts's participation seems to stand in contrast to the picture that has emerged from his days as a young lawyer with the Reagan administration, when he advocated a more conservative approach to civil rights and voting rights. Lawyers in the Romer case said Thursday that Judge Roberts had not discussed its substance with them, but seemed to approach it more as an intellectual challenge.
Even so, reports of his involvement echoed on conservative talk shows Thursday, generating outrage and disbelief. "There's no question this is going to upset people on the right," Rush Limbaugh told his radio listeners. "There's no question the people on the right are going to say: 'Wait a minute. Wait a minute! The guy is doing pro bono work and helping gay activists?' "
A White House spokeswoman, Erin Healy, said Judge Roberts's involvement was minimal. "As in any other case," Ms. Healy said, "it is wrong to equate legal work product with personal opinions."
The lead plaintiffs' lawyer in the Romer case, Jean Dubofsky, said Thursday that she sought out Judge Roberts at the recommendation of Walter Dellinger, then a senior official in the Justice Department under President Bill Clinton. Ms. Dubofsky, a former justice of the Colorado Supreme Court, said she was specifically seeking a conservative who could provide her an insider's road map, of sorts, helping her to anticipate objections from some of the court's more conservative members, like Justice Antonin Scalia and Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist.
Judge Roberts, who once clerked for Justice Rehnquist and now serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, spent about six hours on the case, Ms. Dubofsky said. "He told me, 'You have to know how to count and to get five votes, you're going to have to pick up the middle.' "
And then, she said, Judge Roberts provided explicit instructions on how to do just that, telling her that she would have to prove to the court it did not have to overturn a previous case, Bowers v. Hardwick, which upheld a ban on homosexual sodomy. He peppered her with questions in a moot court session.
"So when I was asked by Justice Scalia if they would have to overturn Bowers v. Hardwick to rule my way, I said no," Ms. Dubofsky said, adding, "In this particular case if you wanted to get the U.S. Supreme Court turned around on gay rights issues, you didn't have to win every gay rights case floating around out there."
Ultimately, in a forceful opinion by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, the court said the Colorado provision had put the state's gay men and lesbians in a "solitary class," singling them out in violation of the Constitution's equal protection guarantee in a manner that was so sweeping as to be inexplicable on any basis other than animus. Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justices Scalia and Clarence Thomas, the justices to whom Judge Roberts is most often compared, issued a blistering dissent.
The Romer case proved to be the first step in the Supreme Court's ultimate disavowal of the Bowers decision in its 2003 ruling in the case of Lawrence v. Texas. That ruling, which overturned a Texas sodomy law, has drawn the ire of conservatives at a time when the Supreme Court is expecting still more cases involving gay rights. In November, the court is scheduled to hear a case that grows out of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy toward gay service members. The question is whether Congress can withhold federal money from universities that restrict military recruiters' access to their students, in an effort to support gay rights. Judge Roberts would join in hearing that case, should he be confirmed by the first Monday in October, as Republicans hope.
Judge Roberts did not mention the Romer case in the response he filed to a questionnaire from the Senate Judiciary Committee, which asked about pro bono work. Committee Democrats said they were not troubled by the omission, because it did not appear that Judge Roberts had spent a significant amount of time on the case. He did list two other cases, including one in which he represented welfare recipients in the District of Columbia who were challenging cuts in their benefits.
Walter A. Smith, who was in charge of pro bono work at Hogan & Hartson from 1993 to 1997, and who worked extensively on the Romer case, said about a dozen lawyers at the firm assisted. He said he had little trouble recruiting Judge Roberts.
"It looked like a challenging, interesting, provocative, important case," said Mr. Smith, who is now the executive director of the D. C. Appleseed Center, a nonpartisan public interest legal group. "Everybody knew that, and I think he believed it was worth his time."
Mr. Smith said part of his job was to match lawyers with cases that would intrigue them, and that his initial instinct was that Judge Roberts would be willing, despite his conservative bent. In the past, Judge Roberts has made it a point to note that lawyers do not always agree with their clients.
"Every good lawyer knows that if there is something in his client's cause that so personally offends you, morally, religiously, if it so offends you that you think it would undermine your ability to do your duty as a lawyer, then you shouldn't take it on, and John wouldn't have," he said. "So at a minimum he had no concerns that would rise to that level."
Liberal critics of Judge Roberts, however, continued to assail him on Thursday as a foe of civil rights. "John Roberts was a key member of a right-wing policy team that waged a comprehensive assault on fundamental constitutional rights," said Ralph Neas, president of People for the American Way, a liberal advocacy group, "and that is most relevant to his qualification to be on the Supreme Court."
While some conservatives, including Dr. Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, said they were unconcerned about Judge Roberts's involvement in the Romer case, others signaled that the report had at least raised questions in their eyes.
James C. Dobson, chairman of the evangelical group Focus on the Family, said Judge Roberts's work in the case was "not welcome news to those of us who advocate for traditional values," though he said it did not necessarily mean that Judge Roberts shared the plaintiffs' views.
Colleen Parro, executive director of the Republican National Coalition for Life and one of the few conservatives to raise questions about Judge Roberts, said his work on the case was "cause for more caution and less optimism" about his nomination.
Linda Greenhouse contributed reporting from Washington for this article.
US: Supreme Court Nominee Roberts Donated Help to Gay Rights Case - LA Times