January 14, 2000
God Save the Queens
While American politicians dither about whether or not the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is fair or even practical, their counterparts in the Mother Country have taken decisive action to allow gays in the military. British Defense er, Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon told the House of Commons on Wednesday that “with effect from today, homosexuality will no longer be a bar to service in Britain’s armed forces.” Hoon, who invited ousted gay soldiers to re-enlist, said that the military will replace the ban on gays with a policy which governs personal relationships among all military personnel, regardless of sexual orientation. The new code was adopted in response to a European Court of Human Rights ruling in September that the ban was unlawful.
Sex Torture, She Wrote
A few years ago, Oliver Jovanovic made national news when he was convicted of kidnapping and torturing a 20-year-old Barnard student whom he’d met on the Internet. This month he was released from prison pending a new trial after his conviction was overturned. New York state’s highest court ruled the trial judge was wrong to apply the state’s rape shield law to the emails and online conversations Jovanic exchanged with the student, in which she expressed an interest in S/M. Jovanovic’s lawyers have always asserted that the alleged kidnapping was entirely consensual.
Sex and violence, deception and S/M it could be straight out of a steamy novel. Or perhaps straight into one . . . So claims Jovanovic, who this week blasted Linda Fairstein, the Manhattan prosecutor who tried the case back in 1998. Jovanovic charged in a press conference that Fairstein pursued his case and others without regard for justice, mainly to pick up new material for her moonlighting gig as a crime novelist. Fairstein heads up the D.A.’s sex-crime unit and modeled the protagonist of such books as Final Jeopardy and Cold Hit after herself.
Jovanovic has a surprising ally in his fight. The grandmother of the alleged victim showed up at the press conference, hugging Jovanovic and saying “I feel bad for Oliver. There is no question at all that he is innocent.”
In the latest news from our gentle friends north of the border, we learn that nothing says “open-minded tolerance” like a police station. According to the Calgary Herald, an unnamed civilian employee of the Calgary Police Service started coming to work dressed as a woman about six months ago and told the police brass that he wanted to become a woman. The employee, now just six months shy of his gender reassignment surgery covered, by the way, under Alberta health care told the paper that the transition from man to woman has been “fairly easy,” even while immersed in the testosterone-driven cop culture. “I thought, why would that be an issue? The police station seems to be the safest place to be.”
Deputy Chief Jack Beaton, who oversees human resources issues, said, “We’re quite proud she stayed here and wanted to go through the transition here that tells us the police service is on the right path. We have a positive workplace policy and this is an issue of diversity.”
Quotes of the Week
“It’s not a vibrator, not supposed to be a vibrator, and not meant to be a vibrator. It’s a back massager. Although that’s interesting, too.”