Jayne Cortez, Jazz Poet, Dies at 78

From The New York Times:  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/arts/jayne-cortez-poet-and-performance-artist-dies-at-78.html?ref=obituaries

Published: January 3, 2013

Jayne Cortez, a poet and performance artist whose work was known for its visceral power, its political outrage and above all its sheer, propulsive musicality, died on Dec. 28 in Manhattan. She was 78.

Her death, at Beth Israel Medical Center, was from heart failure, her son, the jazz drummer Denardo Coleman, said.

One of the central figures of the Black Arts Movement — the cultural branch of the black power movement that flourished in the 1960s and ’70s — Ms. Cortez remained active for decades afterward, publishing a dozen volumes of poetry and releasing almost as many recordings, on which her verse was seamlessly combined with avant-garde music.

She performed on prominent stages around the world, including, in New York, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, the Museum of Modern Art and Carnegie Hall.

Ms. Cortez’s work was beyond category by virtue of embodying so many categories simultaneously: written verse, African and African-American oral tradition, the discourse of political protest, and jazz and blues. Meant for the ear even more than for the eye, her words combine a hurtling immediacy with an incantatory orality.

Continue reading at:   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/arts/jayne-cortez-poet-and-performance-artist-dies-at-78.html?ref=obituaries

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Dr Richard Curtis: transsexual doctor faces investigation

From The Telegraph UK:  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9784545/Dr-Richard-Curtis-transsexual-doctor-faces-investigation.html

Britain’s first transsexual doctor is under investigation following complaints that he provided inappropriate treatment to patients wishing to change gender.

By Martin Evans and Andrew Hough
07 Jan 2013

Dr Richard Curtis, who was born Vanda Zadorozny, but had a sex change in 2005, is being investigated by the General Medical Council, after at least three separate complaints.

The London-based GP is accused of prescribing sex change hormones “to several patients” that were not appropriate and also ignoring restrictions placed on his practice.

In one case reportedly under investigation by the GMC, the doctors’ regulator, a woman complained she regretted undergoing treatment, which included having a double mastectomy and taking hormones.

In another case, it was alleged Dr Curtis, 46, prescribed sex change drugs to patients under 18, without the specialist knowledge or skills to do so.

It is alleged that Dr Curtis, who provides private treatment to patients pursuing “gender reassignment”, failed to follow accepted standards of care.

Continue reading at:   http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9784545/Dr-Richard-Curtis-transsexual-doctor-faces-investigation.html

The Guardian’s continued attempt at torpedoing Trans healthcare laid bare

From Complicity:  http://www.complicity.co.uk/blog/2013/01/batty-torpedoing-trans-healthcare/

by Zoe O’Connell
6 January 2013

It seems David Batty, Guardian “journalist”, has come out of his self-imposed retirement on writing about Trans issues to produce a rather obviously spun story on Doctor Richard Curtis, a private doctor who practices in London.

For those not aware of the history, David Batty has a history of attacking anyone or anything involve in Trans healthcare, including articles about Russel Reid’s GMC hearing, a matter that is now regarded by much of the community as a witch-hunt against him by other doctors. I don’t have many details of the latest complaint beyond what was in the Guardian article, but it has been confirmed that one of the complainants is Dr Barrett. Yes, the same Dr. Barrett who was involved in the complaint against Russell Reid many years ago.

So with that background, let’s have a look at today’s article. Here’s what he’s detailed the complaints as, and I’ll deal with them point by point with reference to the WPATH Standards of Care (PDF Link).

Commencing hormone treatment in complex cases without referring the patient for a second opinion or before they had undergone counselling

There is no requirement for a second opinion or counseling prior to prescribing hormones, despite the attempt to insinuate that there is. The requirements are persistent gender dysphoria, capacity to give informed consent, being an adult (Kids have different rules) and other medical or mental concerns being “reasonably well-controlled.” (Page 104)

Administering hormone treatment at patients’ first appointments

See the above list of requirements for HRT. There is no reason not to prescribe hormones if the persistent gender dysphoria is well documented. (For example, the patient may already have transitioned, may have seen other doctors before going private or may have been on NHS waiting lists for an extended period of time)

Continue reading at:  http://www.complicity.co.uk/blog/2013/01/batty-torpedoing-trans-healthcare/

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Rhode Island Catholic bishop: Same-sex marriage is ‘immoral’ and a threat to ‘religious freedom’

From Pink News UK:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/07/rhode-island-catholic-bishop-same-sex-marriage-is-immoral-and-a-threat-to-religious-freedom/

7 January 2013,

The leader of Rhode Island’s Roman Catholic Diocese has described same-sex marriage as “immoral and unnecessary.”

Bishop Thomas Tobin released a statement on Monday urging lawmakers to drop legislation to allow gay couples to marry.

According to the Associated Press, the bishop said the Catholic Church rejected the “homosexual lifestyle” and claimed equal marriage posed a threat to religious freedom.

Bishop Tobin also argued that Rhode Island should wait for the US Supreme Court to weigh in on the federal law defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

He said that if the state must consider equal marriage, it should be placed before voters as a referendum.

Continue reading at:  http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/01/07/rhode-island-catholic-bishop-same-sex-marriage-is-immoral-and-a-threat-to-religious-freedom/

Let’s put ending the religious tax exemption on the ballot.  Isn’t it time the religious fuckwads pay their fair share instead of freeloading off humanity.

End welfare for religion.

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Discharged Gay Service Members to Get Full Separation Pay

From The Advocate:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/military/2013/01/07/discharged-gay-service-members-get-full-separation-pay

Under a legal settlement announced today, military personnel who saw their separation pay cut in half because they were discharged for being gay will be compensated with the remainder.

BY Trudy Ring
January 07 2013

Military personnel who had their separation pay cut in half after being discharged for being gay will receive their full pay under a legal settlement announced today.

The settlement comes in Collins v. United States, a class action suit brought by the American Civil Liberties Union and its New Mexico affiliate. It is named for lead plaintiff Richard Collins, who was honorably discharged from the Air Force after being observed kissing his boyfriend but saw his separation pay cut because his discharge was for homosexuality.

“There was absolutely no need to subject these service members to a double dose of discrimination by removing them from the armed forces in the first place, and then denying them this small benefit to ease the transition to civilian life,” said Laura Schauer Ives, managing attorney for the ACLU of New Mexico, in a press release. “This decision represents a long-delayed justice to these veterans.”

The pay reduction was a Defense Department policy and not part of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” law, so it did not change when the law was repealed, ACLU officials noted.

The settlement covers personnel who were discharged on or after November 10, 2004, as far back as it could extend under the applicable statute of limitations. The total amount of pay owed to these service members is about $2.4 million, which “is small by military standards, but is hugely significant in acknowledging their service to their country,” said Joshua Block, staff attorney for the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Project.”

Continue reading at:  http://www.advocate.com/politics/military/2013/01/07/discharged-gay-service-members-get-full-separation-pay

See Also:  Daily Kos:   ACLU scores big win for gay and lesbian veterans

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Illinois Marriage Advances: Jan 7 2013 Marriage News Watch

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Virginia Legislators Want to Force Poor Women to Carry Severely Disabled Fetuses to Term Against Their Will

From RH Reality Check:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/01/04/virginia-legislators-want-to-force-poor-women-to-carry-severely-disabled-fetuses

by Robin Marty, Senior Political Reporter
January 7, 2013

Poor women already face great disparities when it comes to accessing any health care, much less reproductive health care. Now, with a new bill being introduced by a Virginia state legislator, they will have to decide whether to desperately find money to access an abortion, or whether to risk their own health by carrying to term and giving birth to a fetus that a doctor has already stated will have little to no meaningful life outside the womb.

Via Laura Bassett at Huffington Post:

State Sen. Thomas A. Garrett (R-Lynchburg) has introduced a bill that would prevent Medicaid from subsidizing abortion services for low-income women in cases “in which a physician certifies … that the fetus would be born with a gross and totally incapacitating physical deformity or mental deficiency.” Women who currently receive Medicaid in Virginia have abortion coverage in cases of rape, incest, severe fetal abnormalities, or when the life of the mother is in danger.

Other anti-choice proposals being offered, such as insurance bans on abortion and contraception, or a bill to ban non-existent “sex or race selection” abortion, are disturbing on their own. Yet it’s the push to make women who use Medicaid into continuing medically-futile pregnancies or pregnancies that will result in a child with severe fetal anomalies that is the most disturbing.

Besides placing women at greater physical risk, the state would also be forcing her to spend overwhelming amounts of resources on a severely disabled baby for as long as it holds on to life, resources that are no doubt already scarce in the first place even if she has no other children and even more so if she is already a mother. Being pregnant and caring for other family members in the best of circumstances is a challenge. Being pregnant, poor, and possibly without another adult partner is even more difficult. There is no money to get a sitter, to rest, to take time off of work to care for a child or to rest if there are pregnancy complications.

Continue reading at:  http://www.rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/01/04/virginia-legislators-want-to-force-poor-women-to-carry-severely-disabled-fetuses

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