poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, April 24, 2004

'Day of Silence' questioned
Principal plans to discuss teachers' participation in gay rights event
The principal at Huron High School questions whether or not two teachers who participated Wednesday in a Day of Silence to advocate for gay rights should be allowed to do it again next year.

However, district officials have no policy against political activism in the classroom.

Principal Arthur Williams said he plans to have a group discussion with teachers and administrators about expectations regarding teachers' political activism in the classroom.

"I think you can talk about the various sides of the issue without advocating for any," said Williams, who added he would not be in favor of teacher participation in a Day of Silence against racism, sexism or any other social or political cause.


PTAs support gay unions
By Joshua L. Kwan
Mercury News
Kate Hill said she was moved when she heard a panel of Peninsula high school students talk two months ago about the discrimination they faced as gay kids.

So Hill, president of the Palo Alto Council of Parent Teacher Associations, last week presented a resolution opposing any laws or amendments to the U.S. Constitution that would define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. The board passed it, becoming the first PTA board in the country to support gay marriage and urge the national organization to follow suit.

A spokeswoman at the national PTA headquarters in Chicago said the organization, with 23,000 chapters around the country, is unaware of any similar resolutions.

Bay Area gay parents and their children reacted Friday with surprise and enthusiasm when told by the Mercury News that Palo Alto's coalition of 17 PTA groups had adopted this stance. The resolution does not alter district policy, and it's not clear what effect it might have on students' lives.

``I think it allows people to feel more comfortable to be who they are,'' said Dey Rose, a gay parent of two children in the Palo Alto school district and a drama teacher at Terman Middle School. ``It's wonderful that they take a stand and say this is the right thing to do.''


this gov. needs to be voted out of office...

Romney chides Legislature on gay marriage
By Raphael Lewis, Globe Staff
Governor Mitt Romney suggested yesterday that the Legislature's proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage is merely a facade, because lawmakers refuse to allow him to go before the state's high court and seek a stay of the landmark Nov. 18 ruling that legalized same-sex matrimony.

Although lawmakers passed the amendment last month, it must be passed again in the next legislative session and win approval at the ballot box in the November 2006 general election before it can become law.

That means that gay marriage will be legal in this state for at least the next 2 1/2 years.

"I'm wondering whether the first step they took, which was to pass an amendment, was a facade or was it a real effort to limit marriage to a relationship between man and a woman," Romney said. "If it is a real effort with real intent, then the Legislature will give me the occasion to reach the Supreme Court and ask for a stay. Otherwise, we will have same-sex marriage in Massachusetts without a decision of the people."

Romney ratcheted up his rhetoric a day after the Senate, under the leadership of President Robert E. Travaglini, refused to consider an emergency bill the governor filed earlier this month seeking special power to go before the Supreme Judicial Court to seek a stay of its ruling before it goes into effect on May 17.


City panel faces cases alleging anti-gay bias
Complaints lodged against Druid Hills Golf Club, AJC, Blake’s
As officials from Druid Hills Golf Club prepare to enter into mediation with two gay members over a discrimination complaint, a former employee has alleged that his sexual orientation contributed to his dismissal from the golf club last month.

The city of Atlanta’s Human Relations Commission ruled in January that the golf club discriminated against gay members Lee Kyser and Randy New by not granting to their domestic partners the same benefits given to members’ spouses.

The commission sent its findings to Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, who is responsible for issuing sanctions — from a written reprimand to revocation of business and liquor licenses — to companies that violate the city’s non-discrimination ordinance. Franklin instead recommended the two parties enter into mediation.


Gay issue to dominate Methodist conference
100 resolutions seek to solidify or change policy on homosexuals in the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination By KEVIN ECKSTROM
Setting the stage for the 11-day meeting was the recent acquittal of a lesbian pastor, the Rev. Karen Dammann, in Washington state. She was charged with violating the church's ban on "self-avowed practicing" gay clergy.

Some 1,600 pieces of legislation on a host of issues will be considered by the 998 delegates representing the nation's second-largest Protestant denomination. Officials say at least 100 different resolutions seek to solidify or change gay policy in the 10.2 million-member church.

"If people were hoping this would be a quieter conference, the Karen Dammann decision made that impossible," said the Rev. Troy Plummer, director of the gay-friendly Reconciling Ministries Network.


Gay refugee claimants seeking haven in Canada
From Saturday's Globe and Mail
Canada is seeing a surge in the number of refugee claimants who say they are homosexuals and will be persecuted if they are returned to their homelands.

In the past three years, nearly 2,500 people from 75 different countries have sought asylum on the basis of sexual orientation, according to information released under the Access to Information Act.

It is not known how many have been allowed to stay in Canada; the Immigration and Refugee Board does not track acceptance rates by case type.

The surge in applications is being driven both by bogus claims and a growing view of Canada as a haven for persecuted homosexuals, refugee experts say.

The largest number came from Mexico, with 602, and Costa Rica, with 276 — both democracies with thriving homosexual communities, annual Gay Pride Day parades and websites offering everything from gay weddings to gay tour operators.

Many claimants also come from Muslim countries, where homosexuality is outlawed, while a small number hail from Ireland, Britain, the United States and even the Netherlands, one of the few countries to legalize gay marriage.


Evangelical backlash over gay dean
By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
Church of England conservatives have called for an urgent meeting with Tony Blair to express their fury at the appointment of the homosexual cleric Dr Jeffrey John as Dean of St Albans. 

Dr John will continue pressing for the blessing of same-sex unions

In a letter to the Prime Minister, they expressed their concern that Downing Street was deliberately attempting to steer the Church in a more liberal direction on homosexuality.

The post of dean is in the sole gift of the Prime Minister, although senior churchmen such as the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, are consulted.

It initially appeared that the appointment of Dr John would be far less controversial than his nomination as Bishop of Reading last summer, but a powerful backlash is now under way. Evangelicals in the diocese of St Albans are considering barring the Bishop, the Rt Rev Herbert, from their parishes because of his support for Dr John.


French mayor to conduct same-sex wedding
Ben Townley, U.K.
France is set to have its first same-sex wedding this summer because a small-town mayor took exception to the lack of access to marriage for lesbian and gay couples.

Noel Mamere, mayor of the town of Begles in southwest France, has said he will conduct the ceremony for the two men in June, after finding no laws in the country that could block it. France has offered civil unions, similar in the rights and responsibilities to England's currently debated Civil Partnerships Bill, since 2000.


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