poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, April 23, 2004

City's lawyers answer court
State argues S.F. should refund marriage-license fees
Bob Egelko, Chronicle Staff Writer
The state Supreme Court should leave intact the marriages of 4,000 same-sex couples even if it rules that Mayor Gavin Newsom exceeded his authority by approving their marriage licenses, the city of San Francisco has told the court.

In response to a question posed by the justices last week, city lawyers said Wednesday that declaring the City Hall weddings invalid would be premature while the state's marriage law was under legal attack; would be unfair to the couples, who aren't parties to the case; and would be "a green light for discrimination.''

But Attorney General Bill Lockyer's office and an organization opposing same-sex marriage said the court should not recognize marriages performed in violation of state law.


Gay marriage recognition block OK'd
By Anne Saunders
Associated Press
CONCORD - After two days of debate, a legislative committee on Wednesday voted 13-8 in favor of a law to block recognition of gay marriages.

The issue is expected to go before the full House next week. It comes in response to a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision giving gay couples the right to marry there starting May 17. Many lawmakers fear New Hampshire would be forced to honor those marriages.

"This is the most hateful and homophobic legislation this General Court has passed," said Mo Baxley, who works for the New Hampshire Freedom to Marry Coalition.


Foes of gay marriage seek Ohio ballot issue Vote on amendment would be Nov. 2
COLUMBUS - Supporters of a constitutional amendment to strengthen Ohio's ban on gay marriage want to put the issue on the Nov. 2 general election ballot.

David R. Langdon, an attorney who represents the conservative group Citizens for Community Values, submitted a proposed initiative petition this week to the attorney general. That state office is in charge of judging whether the petition's summary is "fair and truthful."

The proposed amendment to the Ohio Constitution would say: "Only a union between one man and one woman may be a marriage valid in or recognized by this state and its political subdivisions.

"This state and its political subdivisions shall not create or recognize a legal status for relationships of unmarried individuals that intends to approximate the design, qualities, or significance or effect of marriage," according to the text.


Lawyer defends same-sex marriages
The state Supreme Court has no right to invalidate the more than 4,000 same-sex marriage licenses issued by San Francisco this winter, San Francisco city attorneys told justices in documents filed Wednesday.

With the court contemplating whether city officials had the right to break state law by issuing the licenses, justices asked the city last week to suggest what to do about gay and lesbian couples who were married before ceremonies were suspended last month.

Because the high court has not been asked to decide whether a ban on gay marriages violates the state constitution, justices are not allowed to invalidate the licenses, City Attorney Dennis Herrera wrote.

"This court should not reach out and decide an issue it has not been asked to decide at this juncture," Herrera wrote.


‘Marriage Summit’ called to combat anti-gay state laws
D.C. organizer faults national gay groups for lack of coordination
Representatives of gay advocacy groups from at least 31 states were scheduled to convene a “Marriage Summit” at the Crystal City Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va., this weekend, where they hoped to map a coordinated strategy for combating anti-gay marriage laws in all 50 states.

“We will draft a plan for each state,” said Christopher Neff, a D.C. gay activist and member of the executive committee for the Federation of Statewide Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Advocacy Organizations, which is organizing the summit.

Neff said the federation, which operates on a shoestring budget, is concerned that the nation’s largest and wealthiest national gay organizations, such as the Human Rights Campaign and the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, have yet to develop a coordinated plan for advancing equal marriage rights for gays in the states.

With proposed constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage on the ballots in at least three states in November, and similar amendments likely in other states, Neff said he conducted an informal survey of national gay groups in February to determine their plans for responding to these threats.


Mayor withholds marriage opinion
Williams feeling pressure from gays on both sides on marriage
D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams revealed this week that the city’s corporation counsel has sent him a draft legal opinion on whether District law allows or requires the city to recognize marriages licenses issued to gay couples in other states, but Williams declined to disclose what the opinion says.

“He’s sent me a draft opinion and we’re reviewing it,” Williams said at an April 21 news conference, in response to a question from the Blade.

“We’re going to be discussing it and deliberating on it and at the appropriate time I’ll certainly let you and everybody else know where we are on this important issue,” the mayor said.


Protesters demand meeting withMusgrave
Police escort six students from congresswoman’s office
A loose coalition of students from D.C.-area universities entered the congressional office of Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.) on Wednesday and demanded a meeting with the congresswoman. The meeting never happened, and the students were finally escorted out of the office by Capitol Hill police officers.

The students, members of a newly formed coalition, the Student Equal Rights Campaign, hail from a variety of schools in the District, including American, Georgetown, and George Washington Universities. They demanded a meeting with Musgrave, who is the chief sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would federally define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.


House passes gay marriage amendment
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The House on Thursday passed a proposed constitutional amendment barring gay marriage -- a move supporters said would guard against activist judges but which opponents criticized as discriminatory. On a 124-19 announced vote, the House sent its version of the proposed amendment of the Missouri Constitution to the Senate. The Senate has passed a simpler version, with the same intent, and that bill is pending in the House.


Rep. files gay marriage resolution
By Cyndee-Nga Trinh
State Rep. Corbin Van Arsdale, R-Cypress, has filed HCR1, a resolution that supports amending the U.S. Constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and woman.

"Once marriage is opened up for any particular group, then all other particular groups will get in, and there will no longer be an institution of marriage," Van Arsdale said Thursday.


50 diverse couples take part in Weddings for Marriage Equality
By Cyndee-Nga Trinh
Emily Scheer, a human relations senior, and Sarah Tilton held hands under an orange-and-white balloon archway and pledged their commitment to one another on the steps in front of the George Washington statue on the Main Mall on Thursday afternoon. Their "marriage" was blessed by the Rev. Jim Rigby, pastor of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church.

About 50 "marriage certificates" were issued by the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Ally Affairs Agency at the Weddings for Marriage Equality demonstration. The demonstration was also sponsored by the Lesbian/Gay Rights Lobby of Texas and the Austin Coalition for Marriage Equality.

These certificates affirmed the couples' "conviction that no couple should should be denied the right to marry and, by participating in these Weddings for Marriage Equality, demonstrate their commitment to equality."


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