poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, April 30, 2004

Church lawyers mull benefits for same-sex spouses
By Eric Convey
Lawyers who represent the state's four Catholic dioceses are exploring whether the church could or should offer health care coverage to same-sex spouses of employees who obtain civil marriages after a court ruling scheduled to take effect May 17.

     ``We're still looking at it. . . . We don't have a legal response yet,'' said Gerald D'Avolio, an attorney who is executive director of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, the church's lobbying arm.

     Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley told reporters yesterday he was waiting to hear what the conference lawyers conclude.

     Because the archdiocese is self-insured - the church pays claims from its own resources - it will not be bound by state regulations requiring that companies offer similar benefits to all spouses, a spokesman for the state Division of Insurance said.


Across U.S., gay couples exchange vows
SARASOTA -- Wearing rose corsages, Bonnie Alberti and Wendy LaChaunce stepped into the court clerk's office Thursday morning and asked for the one document they knew they couldn't get: a marriage license.

The 50-year-old health-care professionals and another lesbian couple exchanged vows a few minutes later in a courtyard outside the clerk's office.

Hundreds of same-sex couples took part in similar ceremonies across the country Thursday in celebration of the International Day of Clergy Support for Same-Sex Marriages.

The event is sponsored by the Metropolitan Community Church, a California-based denomination that claims more than 43,000 members in 22 countries. Its clergy perform more than 6,000 same-sex marriages annually.


great a hate rally.. its so retro.. I wonder if hitler or bush will be there?

Gay-marriage foes to rally at Safeco
By Lornet Turnbull
Seattle Times staff reporter
Perhaps it's fitting that the biggest showdown over Washington's escalating battle on gay marriage should play out at a 47,000-seat ballpark.

The lines are being drawn in what could be a lengthy social, legal and political fight between the state's proponents of same-sex marriage and their adversaries.

A contingent of multifaith clergy members will lob a key pitch tomorrow, hoping to fill Safeco Field from noon to 2 p.m. for what they've termed a Mayday for Marriage rally.

The organizers, a group of area pastors using TV ads and a public-relations firm, have booked national pro-family speaker James Dobson, who has called the consequences of losing the gay-marriage fight "dire."


Homosexual themes unaltered in student play
By Ryan M. Melton
Daily Staff Writer
A play involving homosexual themes and expletive language will go on in a modified form, after negotiations settled concerns between students and the administration of Ames High School.

"Pillow Talk," a play written by Peter Tolan, was selected as a one-act play directed by Ames High senior William Woods, 17. It will be performed along with several other one-act plays.

The play revolves around a field trip two heterosexual male characters go on that results in the two having to share one bed. While laying in the bed, the two characters discuss homosexuality, before hugging and going to sleep.

Carol Kenealy, spokeswoman for the Ames Community School District, said the play will be allowed to take place May 11, 13 and 14, with the questionable language excised from the performance. However, she said any scenes involving homosexual themes were not modified.


First, Treat No Homos
Hypocritic Oath
by Richard Goldstein
Should a physician be allowed to turn you away if you're gay? Sounds like a no-brainer—but not if you live in Michigan.

Michigan's House of Representatives passed a bill last week that permits doctors and other health care providers to walk away from a procedure, treatment, or prescription that violates their religious beliefs. The Conscientious Objector Policy Act, which was pushed by the state's Catholic Conference—and opposed by Michigan's Medical Society—clearly applies to abortions and morning-after pills. But its broad wording could cover other medical situations, such as stem-cell research. The bill bar physicians from denying patients access to contraception, and it forbids discrimination against groups mentioned in the state civil rights law.

Guess which group is excluded from that statute?

"I believe there's a loophole big enough to drive a Mack truck through," said Chris Kolb, Michigan's only openly gay representative. Supporters of the bill are quick to deny this contention—but also loath to add sexual orientation to the bill's protected categories. "I don't think this legislation is the way to address that," Scott Hummel, a Republican lawmaker, told CNN. The Michigan statehouse is dominated by Republicans, which is why Kolb thinks the bill will pass the state senate as well. But the governor, Jennifer Granholm, is a Democrat. She's regarded as gay friendly, but Kolb says he can't be sure she will veto the legislation. Granholm's office released a statement declaring the bill "too broad" as it stands, but adding, "We are sympathetic to this issue and will work with the legislature to develop a version . . . that we all support."


Delray may give $15,000 to Boy Scouts despite group's anti-gay stand
By Leon Fooksman
While some cities, schools and private agencies have criticized or withdrawn support for the Boy Scouts over its anti-gay policy, Delray Beach is considering giving the organization money to hire organizers to create scouting activities for children in the city's poorest neighborhoods.

Gulf Stream Council of the Boy Scouts of America has requested up to $15,000 from Delray Beach to start programs for at least 150 boys attending Village Academy, which offers small classes, after-school and social services for families in the southwest section. The group tried to run activities there about two years ago but couldn't find enough parents and residents willing to volunteer.
The Scouts has been in the spotlight since 2000 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the group has the right to exclude gays. Nationwide and locally, some government agencies have refused to give the Scouts money, citing rules preventing the use of tax dollars for groups that discriminate.



and if HRC.. can not include everyone.. they do not deserve to be around and they are just like like the fascist in power...

Transgender group to protest outside HRC headquarters

A transgender advocacy group unhappy with what it claims is the routine exclusion of transgendered people from pro-gay legislation proposed to Congress will picket outside the national headquarters of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign in Washington, D.C., on April 30. "For over a decade HRC has continued to view the transgendered as too costly for them to deal with," said an unnamed spokesperson for the Transexual Menace. "It's long past time for this to change." Despite adding the phrase gender expression and identity into its mission statement back in March 2001 as characteristics that deserve equality, HRC has consistently supported only a transgender-excluded version of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, a Menace statement read. HRC also still supports the exclusion of transgendered people from federal hate-crimes legislation, it said.

Steven Fisher, communications director for HRC, told that his group has consistently supported transgender-inclusive legislation. "We have ongoing dialogues with transgender leaders," he said. "We want an open and honest dialogue. We want to meet with everyone. We're in an environment where Congress is generally hostile to a lot of our concerns. So we have to work together to fight for equality."


Gay marriage ban resurfaces
Newly proposed amendment also would outlaw civil unions
By John Hanna - Associated Press Writer
TOPEKA — House and Senate negotiators agreed Thursday that a proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution banning gay marriage also should deny legal recognition to other same-sex arrangements such as civil unions.

The language in the amendment is backed by religious conservatives who were angered by the Senate's defeat last month of a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriages only.

"It sounds like they're coming out with a strong amendment to put before the people," said the Rev. Terry Fox, senior pastor at Wichita's Immanuel Southern Baptist Church. "Frankly, we will not compromise on anything less than a strong amendment."

The new legislation is similar to a proposed amendment adopted in March by the House. Two-thirds of both chambers must approve the same language for the proposed amendment to the Kansas Constitution to be placed before voters in November.


this is a evol little man...who needs to be voted out of office..

Mass Gov Sends Gay Marriage Letters
by Margo Williams Newscenter
(Boston, Massachusetts)  Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney Thursday sent out letters to to the governors and attorneys general of all other states telling them that unless they say otherwise he will block same-sex couples from their states from marrying in Massachusetts. 

Gay and lesbian couples will be able to marry in Massachusetts as of May 17, but Romney announced earlier this week that he would invoke a 1913 law which says that the state cannot marry an out-of-state couple if that marriage would be "void" in the couple's home state.  

The law had been created to prevent mixed race marriages and has not been used since the Supreme Court ruled that banning interracial marriage was unconstitutional in 1967.

"It is our view that same-sex marriage is not permitted under the laws of any other state in the nation," the Republican governor's letter says. 


its time to walk up.. this is a fascist country .... its time to seek asylum in other countries before its to late..

Anti-Gay Medical Bills Spread To Other States
by Paul Johnson Newscenter
(Washington, D.C.) Legislation that could be used by doctors and nurses who object to homosexuality to deny gays treatment or prescription drugs is now being considered in six states.

The Michigan house last week passed the Conscientious Objector Policy Act.  The legislation would allow health care providers to assert their objection within 24 hours of when they receive notice of a patient or procedure with which they don't agree. However, it would prohibit emergency treatment to be refused.

The bill is now before the Senate Committee on Health Policy

Similar legislation is being considered in Minnesota, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia.


New Hampshire House Passes Gay Marriage Ban
by Newscenter Staff(
Concord, New Hampshire)  The New Hampshire House Thursday passed legislation that would bar the state from recognizing same-sex marriages.  A similar bill was passed by the Senate last month.  

The two bills must be merged into a single piece of legislation to overcome differences in the wording and then receive approval by the two houses before going to the governor for signing. The House version would allow for the possibility of civil unions. 

New Hampshire already defines marriage as being between a man and a woman, but makes no reference to other marriages performed outside of the state.

Supporters say the legislation is needed to prevent gay couples crossing the state line, marrying in Massachusetts and then going to court in New Hampshire to have their marriages declared legal at home. 


Virginia Is Not for GLBT Lovers
Virginia’s antigay legislature recently passed a law to keep gay and lesbian couples from sharing any of the benefits that should come with long-term partnership. Now the state’s only openly gay lawmaker speaks out against the move.
By Adam Ebbin
An exclusive
The Virginia house of delegates passed the nation’s most restrictive law against same-sex partnerships last week. It was a painful end to my first session as an openly gay member of the oldest legislative body in the Western Hemisphere. 

People back home keep asking me how I’m treated in the capitol, expecting me to say that I have been marginalized, harassed, and ridiculed by colleagues. But I haven’t personally been treated poorly at all. I serve on three important committees and am the only freshman legislator with a capitol view from my office window. I had three bills pass the house this year—not a bad start. I even landed an excellent seat on the house floor, while most of my fellow freshmen are stuck in the chamber’s far corners. 

Now for the bad news: In spite of my state’s “Virginia Is for Lovers” marketing slogan, it is not welcoming toward gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people. The northern part of the state may be home to progressive local governments and vibrant hi-tech businesses, but our state government is slow to face reality and acknowledge that our residents are not just a bunch Ozzies and Harriets. Virginians have a long history of blocking important civil rights gains. After the Supreme Court’s Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954, which outlawed segregated schools, some areas engaged in “massive resistance” and closed public schools for two years rather than admit blacks. In the 1960s it took a Supreme Court ruling to strike down Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage. We were also the last of the 50 states to allow state-backed mortgages for people who are not related by marriage or blood. Republican delegate Dick Black led an effort this year to repeal the statute, calling its beneficiaries “irregular households.” 

And there’s more. Virginia remains the only state that does not allow insurance companies to sell health insurance to private companies for coverage of employees’ non-blood-relatives, such as domestic partners. The general assembly passed a resolution calling on Congress to amend the Constitution to outlaw same-sex marriage. The house sought to deny undocumented immigrant children the ability to enroll in colleges and universities, resisted the idea of providing factual information on emergency contraception to young rape victims, and showed support for assorted regressive measures that run contrary to enlightened thinking. 


Equality Forum hosts rally for same-sex couples

There are 1,138 federal protections and benefits denied to same-sex couples because of a lack of marriage rights. As a result, same-sex couples who have been together for at least one year are invited to join Equality Forum, a global gay rights organization, in Philadelphia on May 2 for a special celebration and rally for same-sex couples. The event will coincide with SundayOUT, the Philadelphia region's largest annual GLBT street festival. The first 1,138 couples to register will be given a rainbow balloon and asked to wear a heart on their shirts with the number of years they have been together. After a 20-minute ceremony the couples will release their balloons as stars for marriage equality.

Equality Forum 2004 is taking place in Philadelphia now through May 2. Eighty regional, national, and international organizations are participating in 57 events, with over 40 programs that are free and open to the public. Eight national organizations, including the Freedom to Marry Project and Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund, will be in Philadelphia to discuss marriage equality for gays and lesbians. This year's featured nation is Canada.


Dollywood’s request angers gay organizers
The Dollywood theme park has asked a gay and lesbian group to immediately stop advertising ''Gay Day at Dollywood'' for an upcoming event that attracted about 1,000 gays and lesbians, mainly from Tennessee, last year.

The Dollywood attorney's letter, paraphrased and forwarded by activists to fellow gays and lesbians via e-mail around the state and nationwide, has sparked anger.

''What are we supposed to say, 'I'm going to the theme park run by the woman with the big breasts?' '' asked Belle Meade resident Michael Romanello, 56. Romanello says he sent out about 200 e-mails to friends on the East Coast yesterday urging them to head to Pigeon Forge for the May 22 event in a gesture of defiance.

Dollywood spokesman Pete Owens said the park was not trying to stop anyone from attending. He said the request was a standard one sent out to anyone in regard to trademark violations. Similar requests have gone out to about two dozen groups, such as tour operators and hotels, who have used the Dollywood name or logo without permission, he said.


Attorney for New Mexico clerk launches gay marriage Web site

An attorney for Sandoval County, N.M., clerk Victoria Dunlap has launched a new Web site detailing the controversy the clerk stirred up by issuing marriage licenses to gay couples. The site includes discussion about same-sex marriage and the law in New Mexico, in addition to other parts of the country where the debate continues. The site also includes Dunlap's reply to the latest attempt by Atty. Gen. Patricia Madrid to maintain a temporary restraining order prohibiting the clerk from issuing any more same-sex marriage licenses. Dunlap alleges in the reply that the order was improperly obtained and continues to be improperly maintained. "They just can't leave a restraining order blocking us that way," said Paul Livingston, Dunlap's attorney. "The use of a restraining order isn't to stop the rights of the people, especially in a state where, it is my contention, same-sex unions are favored and not prohibited."

A status conference is scheduled for May 7 before state district judge Louis McDonald. McDonald has said the conference will help him get up to speed on the controversial case. He's expected to decide whether to make permanent or rescind the temporary restraining order. Dunlap issued 66 marriage licenses to same-sex couples on February 20, saying state law didn't appear to define any gender constraints. Dunlap stopped later that day when Madrid issued a letter saying the licenses were invalid. When Dunlap announced in March that she would once again issue the licenses, Madrid sought the temporary restraining order.


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