poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

House Committee Considers Same-Sex Marriage Bill
Legislator Calls For Studying Issue For Two Years

CONCORD, N.H. -- An influential lawmaker wants to force the New Hampshire Legislature to consider civil unions for same-gender couples in two years.
Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Mock Tuesday recommended adopting a temporary ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states, but he wants the law to expire in 2006.

Mock said that would provide time to examine all the state laws that would have to be changed to give gay and lesbian couples all the rights and responsibilities of marriage.

The Judiciary Committee is considering a bill to ban recognition of gay marriages or civil unions made outside New Hampshire's borders.


Same-sex marriage OK

04/20/04 - Editor, Index-Tribune: Is marriage defined as a union between a man and a woman or two people? I believe that it should be the latter. The controversy over same-sex marriages has made the entire government turn their heads to San Francisco.

Recently, Bush defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In his State of the Union address, he called heterosexual marriage "one of the most fundamental, enduring institutions of our civilization." Dan Segal, of the American Anthropological Association, disagreed. "Rather, anthropological research supports the conclusion that a vast array of family types, including families built upon same-sex partnerships, can contribute to stable and humane societies." Same-sex partners can always adopt children, giving parentless children a safe home and family.

Same-sex relationships also stay together longer than straight relationships. Darren Spedale, a law and business student from Stanford University, stated that 17 percent of gay partnerships ended in divorce, whereas straight relationships had a 46 percent divorce rate.

I also don't believe that the government and church should have control over two people's marital rights. Just imagine being in love with someone and being denied the right to marry him or her. Only 40 years ago, men and women of different races weren't allowed to marry each other.


California approves district's gender policy

LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- The head of the California Department of Education determined Monday that a school district's policy regarding discrimination based on "perceived gender" was legal despite bypassing state-mandated protections.
The decision spares the Westminster School District from losing a large portion of its state funding. A majority on the school board had refused to adopt the state's version of an antidiscrimination policy intended to protect transgender students, claiming that state-mandated protection was immoral.

In a letter to the district's board president, Superintendent Jack O'Connell said he's concerned that the district's policy indicates an unwillingness to accept the state's mandate.

"In fact, it appears the district may intend to deny protection from discrimination and harassment to a class of students that the law clearly protects," O'Connell wrote.
Officials had warned that the district could lose up to $10 million in funding if it was found to be out of compliance with state law.

The Westminster district serves 10,000 students in Orange County.


'Day of Silence' sparks outrage, confusion here
By Susan Baldrige
Lancaster New Era
LANCASTER COUNTY, PA - Some students here may take a nine-hour vow of silence Wednesday to protest harassment of gay people. But the protest has:
·Sparked confusion from local school officials who didn't know their schools were listed as official protest sites.

·Prompted a Lancaster law firm to offer its services to schools wanting to fight the protest.

·Made the news on a local Christian radio station broadcast, which instructed parents to call their schools if they don't agree with the protest.


16 April 2004
Geneva, Switzerland:
Yesterday, the UN Commission on Human Rights agreed, by a cross-regional consensus, to maintain consideration of a resolution on sexual orientation and human rights at its session next year. Over the past few days, many governments and NGOs worked hard to honour the request of Brazil, the resolution's main sponsor, to build a consensus to keep this important human rights issue on the Commission's agenda.

"We are very pleased that the issue of sexual orientation and human rights remains squarely on the Commission's agenda, and we are committed to continuing to support the inclusion of gender identity," said Kim Vance, Co-Director of ARC International, a Canadian-based NGO working in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered rights internationally.

"We are grateful for the leadership role played by Canada, together with a number of countries cross-regionally, on these issues," added John Fisher, also of ARC International. "Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham, PC, MP, strongly expressed Canada's support for recognizing human rights based on sexual orientation and gender identity in his opening address during the high level segment, and Canada has worked consistently to advance these issues throughout the Commission." Today, New Zealand made a joint statement with Canada affirming:

"Discrimination against people on the grounds of their sexual orientation takes place in all too many countries. That is a reality. We cannot ignore it. And we cannot pretend it does not exist. It is silence that allows human rights abuses to flourish. ... The United Nations has been silent on sexual orientation for far too long. It is time to break that silence. The issue should be on the agenda and the Commission should respond. A failure to speak out can only be interpreted as condoning discrimination and prejudice."


Equality California sponsored Marriage License Non-Discrimination Act referred from Assembly Rules Committee to Assembly Judiciary Committee

SACRAMENTO – This Morning, Equality California’s California Marriage License Non-Discrimination Act, by Assembly Member Mark Leno, was referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee for a hearing next Tuesday, April 20 at 9am. Equality California, the statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender advocacy organization, will be organizing families and married couples to attend the hearing. Today was the last possible day for the bill to be referred in order for it to have a hearing by the April 23rd deadline set for all fiscal bills by the legislature.

“We are extremely pleased that the bill was referred and that it will be considered by the Judiciary Committee. This is one more small, but very important, step toward gaining full equality under the law,” said Geoffrey Kors, Executive Director of Equality California. “Equality California has been working with Assemblyman Leno and with the leadership of the Assembly, and we remain optimistic about a victory at the Judiciary Committee next week.”

Notably, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has said that he has “no problem” with same-sex couples being able to marry and has refused to say that he will not sign the bill if it is passed by the legislature.

Equality California was also the sponsor of ground breaking domestic partnership laws in 1999, 2000, and 2003. The most recent was AB 205 (Statutes of 2003), the Domestic Partner Rights and Responsibilities Act by Assembly Member Jackie Goldberg, which greatly expanded the rights of same-sex couples in California.


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