TV & Radio
On 8th of June, Kanako Otsuji, an openly-gay member of the Osaka Prefecutural Assembly, submitted a letter to the Russian consul general at Osaka, protesting against police violence on the Moscow Pride last month.
San Francisco Chronicle
The gay marriage dodge
Thursday, June 8, 2006
THE U.S. SENATE debate over banning same-sex marriage may be one of the all-time channel-changers in national politics. When all else fails, this White House falls back on piety to shift attention.
The same-sex marriage ban stood no chance, appealed to no surging demand and inflamed feelings on a deeply personal topic. But it let the White House and its Senate allies cook up an issue that can be embalmed and retrieved in November.
As if voters weren't weary enough of cynical politics, the ban backers chose primary election day for this stunt. The plan for a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage failed, as it has before and doubtless will again.
Why trot out this loser of an issue? There are several reasons, all of them disreputable. President Bush dearly wants to shift the focus from his subterranean poll ratings with a solemn-sounding stand on family values. He also wants a volatile issue that will mobilize his restless base of religious conservatives. It's a diversion aimed at steering voters away from the wreckage of his overseas wars, mounting federal debt and an addiction to foreign oil, to pick among his failures.
It's time the administration called off its marriage-discrimination crusade. The Senate won't go there, Mr. President. It's also time to stop using the issue to divert attention from Iraq, deficits and so many other mistakes.
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Boston Globe EDITORIAL
Gay marriage, so what?
June 6, 2006
AMERICA HAS much more to fear than gay marriage. So it was disappointing to hear President Bush's radio address on Saturday, and his speech yesterday, in which he defends marriage, scolds activist judges, and supports the Marriage Protection Amendment, which would change the Constitution by only allowing one man and one woman to wed.
``Government, by recognizing and protecting marriage, serves the interests of all," Bush said, noting that straight marriages provide a safe haven for children and a pillar for society.
One problem: Gay marriage isn't a real threat. In Massachusetts, married gay couples are not masterminding terrorist bombings. They are not refining weapons-grade uranium nor are they running up federal budget deficits. Married gay couples are not monitoring their fellow Americans' phone calls and e-mails. They haven't cut Medicaid. And they didn't put that doughnut hole in the middle of Medicare's new prescription drug program.
If there's anything to be said about two years of gay marriage in Massachusetts, it's congratulations to the couples and now back to our regularly scheduled conversations about ``American Idol " and ``The Sopranos."
As for the claim that gay marriage is hurting straight marriage: Where's the evidence? Straight marriages have flaws, from fights to extramarital (and largely heterosexual) affairs. But these problems predate gay marriage by centuries.
RELATED STORY: President rips SJC on gay marriage
Government should be concerned about children. But the big threat they face is poverty, not gay marriage. Any serious defense of children has to include better physical and mental health care, stronger schools, increasing family incomes, and less exposure to crime and violence. Banning gay marriage would not accomplish any of these things.
Nonetheless, the Senate is scheduled to vote on the Marriage Protection Amendment this week. It will be a huffing, puffing bit of political theater that's tossed like a bone to social conservatives, because common knowledge is that the amendment won't go forward. There aren't enough votes to win the two-thirds majority needed -- in the Senate and the House -- to send the amendment on to the states. Three-quarters of them would then have to approve it before it could become part of the Constitution.
One small threat to straight marriage is each year's crop of hyped short marriages -- celebrities who wed for months, weeks, or days. The implicit and troubling assumption seems to be that marriage only has to last as long as the excitement does. But no one is calling for federal intervention into the lives of Jennifer Lopez or Eminem.
America needs effective government action to solve serious and life-threatening problems. Gay marriage isn't one of them.
The New York Times
One Down, One to Go
Published: June 8, 2006
Now that the Republican leaders in the Senate have finished wasting the nation's time over a constitutional ban on gay marriage, we're bracing for Act Two of the culture-war circus that the White House is staging to get out the right-wing vote this fall.
Senator Bill Frist, the majority leader, plans to continue to set aside work on pressing issues facing the country to vote on yet another unworthy constitutional amendment — a prohibition on burning the American flag.
If the gay marriage amendment was a pathetic attempt to change the subject in an election year, the flag-burning proposal is simply ridiculous. At least there actually is a national debate about marriage, and many thousands of gay couples want to wed. Flag burning is an issue that exists only for the purpose of pandering to a tiny slice of voters. Supporters of the amendment cannot point to a single instance of anti-American flag burning in the last 30 years. The video images that the American Legion finds so offensive to veterans and other Americans are either of Vietnam-era vintage or from other countries.
Nevertheless, flag burning remains one of those "wedge issues" that Republicans use to denigrate the patriotism of Democratic candidates or to get the party's base out to vote.
The other big difference between the two amendments is that the ban on gay marriage was never going to get the two-thirds vote in Congress required to send it to the states for ratification. Yesterday, the Senate rejected it by 49 to 48, with the help of seven Republicans.
The flag-burning amendment, on the other hand, actually could pass. A realistic nose count based on members' public statements and how they voted when the measure last came up, in 2000, suggests the Senate may be just a single vote short of punching a hole in free speech.
Senator Harry Reid, the minority leader, should be rallying Democrats to join the small handful of principled Republicans so far willing to oppose the amendment. But as things stand, he is among the Democrats who plan to vote for this constitutional vandalism. Opponents of the amendment, like Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, are standing on firm ground in trying to protect the Bill of Rights from an election-year stunt.
It is the patriotic thing to do.
福井：ジェンダー本撤去問題 市民団体が抗議の会合 猪口担当相に理解促進要望 (読売・福井版 2006/06/08朝刊)
米国の終身刑囚人、性転換費用めぐり刑務所を訴え (ロイター 2006/06/08)
［ボストン ７日 ロイター］ 米国で終身刑に服している男の受刑者が６日、性転換手術の費用支払いを求めて、マサチューセッツ州の刑務所当局を訴えていることがわかった。男は妻を殺した罪で服役中だが、これまで何年間も女性として生きてきたという。
US prisoner sues for sex-change operation
Wed Jun 7, 2006 12:25pm ET
By Scott Malone
BOSTON (Reuters) - An inmate serving a life sentence for killing his wife is suing the Massachusetts prison system, asking it to pay for a sex-change operation.
Lawyers for Robert Kosilek, who uses the name Michelle and has lived off-and-on as a woman for years, warned in federal court papers filed on Tuesday that Kosilek faces "risk of suicide ... due to the unbearable prospect of living the rest of her life in a male body."
Kosilek, who takes estrogen pills and has had laser hair removal to make him look like a woman, asserted that he suffers from gender identity disorder and that denying the operation amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
The condition is recognized by the U.S. medical establishment, and affects one in 10,000 people, according to Walter Meyer, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas, and an expert in gender identity disorder.
The lawsuit, filed in 2000, asks that the court order the Massachusetts Department of Correction to pay for his surgery on the grounds that he was being denied needed medical care.
In the United States, surgery to replace male genitalia with a facsimile of female genitalia costs from $10,000 to $20,000, Meyer said.
"If you're in the free world and you have this problem, very few insurance companies pay for it," Meyer said. "Most people live in the new gender and don't get the surgery."
The case is being heard in U.S. District Court in Boston. Kosilek was convicted in 1993 in the murder of his wife, Cheryl.
According to court papers, Kosilek was abused as a child and in the 1970s was beaten and raped while living as a woman.
A state corrections spokeswoman declined to comment on the case and Kosilek's lawyer did not answer calls.