poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Partner benefits disputed
Backers and foes of gay marriage ban spar over impact on couples' coverage
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Advocates for gay rights worry that an amendment to the Georgia Constitution to ban same-sex marriage could roll back domestic partner benefits available through some private employers and local governments. Some say the proposed amendment, which will go to voters Nov. 2, could be interpreted as outlawing health insurance and other benefits for partners of gay employees.


We all fall short

Few people on opposing sides of the gay marriage issue are likely to do 180-degree turns, so we won't even go there. What seems to stick in my craw, however, are the attempts to hide homophobia and gay bashing behind religion.


Mother with an asterisk
For gay parents, laws on adoption missing the mark
By Javier Erik Olvera, Rocky Mountain News
There are times when biochemist Ashley Frazer-Abel looks into the eyes of the 5-year-old girl who calls her Mama and the fear sets in. If anything should happen to her partner - the child's legal parent - she would have no rights to the little girl she loves because Colorado law doesn't allow her adoption rights.


Gregoire asked to defend marriage law
King County has asked that state Attorney General Christine Gregoire join its defense of the Washington law that restricts marriage to heterosexual couples.


UN given tentative go-ahead to gay partner benefits
By Evelyn Leopold
UNITED NATIONS, April 2 (Reuters) - A key U.N. finance committee voted to allow Secretary-General Kofi Annan to grant welfare benefits to unmarried couples, including gays and lesbians, if their home country permits it.   In a compromise resolution on Friday, the panel said Annan had to re-issue his guidelines on the subject and not use words like "family" or "domestic partnership" or "legally recognized marriage" in describing the policy.


Duke pushes YMCA to recognize gay couples
Duke University is joining an effort to persuade the YMCA to give family membership rates to same-sex couples and has threatened to end its relationship with the agency if it doesn't change its policy. Duke officials said in a letter dated Tuesday that if the organization does not extend family membership benefits to same-sex couples, they will end their relationship with the YMCA of the Triangle. Duke human resources official Mindy Kornberg said the university, Durham, N.C.'s largest employer, has an agreement with the YMCA through September 30. That agreement gives Duke employees and their dependents discounted memberships in exchange for Duke's promotion of the health and fitness agency. More than 200 Duke employees and family members, including gay families, have enrolled under this agreement, the letter said.


White House Clarifies Stance On Gay Rights
Move Seeks to End Flap Over Federal Staff Policy
By Stephen Barr
Washington Post Staff Writer
The White House, in an apparent effort to put some distance between the president and one of his appointees, has clarified its stance on the protection afforded gay federal employees against discrimination in government workplaces.

"Long-standing federal policy prohibits discrimination against federal employees based on sexual orientation," the new White House statement said. "President Bush expects federal agencies to enforce this policy and to ensure that all federal employees are protected from unfair discrimination at work."

The statement goes further than past White House comments by specifically referring to sexual discrimination. It appears aimed at clearing up a controversy that began several weeks ago when Scott J. Bloch, a new presidential appointee as head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, removed references to sexual orientation discrimination from his agency's Web site.


Even in Gay-Friendly Offices, Silences
Published: April 4, 2004
ANY employers have gay-friendly policies, offering health benefits to domestic partners of gay employees or mandating diversity training. But sometimes there is a discrepancy between what the employee handbook says and what happens in the office, and that makes a lot of young gay professionals uneasy.


Greens rally around New Paltz mayor
Challenging laws provides a platform
By Gabriel J. Wasserman
Poughkeepsie Journal
Karl Rabe/Poughkeepsie Journal
Village of New Paltz Mayor Jason West examines a document during a village council meeting this week in village hall. NEW PALTZ -- After he married same-sex couples on Feb. 27, Village of New Paltz Mayor Jason West became something quite rare within the Green Party -- a party member who has both an elected office and a national profile.


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