poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

State marriage act affects more than gays, lesbians
By Shannon Brennan  / Lynchburg News & Advance
Throughout this session of the General Assembly, Dyana Mason has tried to convince legislators that they shouldn’t deprive gays and lesbians of their basic civil rights.

But last week, the General Assembly ratified the “Marriage Affirmation Act,” which not only forbids same-sex marriages and unions, but also prohibits partnership contracts and other arrangements between persons of the same sex.

“The few ways that gays and lesbians have had to protect their families … are now suspect,” said Mason, executive director of EqualityVirginia, a Richmond-based organization that supports gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

“People are rightfully outraged about this,” she said.

Mason worries that a hospital might turn away a same-sex partner or a court might not uphold a will or child custody arrangement because of the law. She’s not alone.


The transsexual factor
San Jose Mercury-News
Depending on how you see things, Fran Bennett and Erika Taylor are a heterosexual or lesbian couple. Either way, under California law, they're married.

That's because the couple tied the knot before Bennett, once a popular Bay Area disc jockey known as ''Weird Old Uncle Frank,'' had what is commonly called a sex change.

Their marriage -- and possibly thousands like it involving transsexual women and men across the country -- is already testing the boundaries of marriage as the nation wrangles over the rights of same-sex couples to wed.

Many transsexual couples have until now fallen under the mainstream radar as they've continued to marry, or remain married despite having changed genders. And now they're worried the contentious debate over same-sex marriage will cast an unwelcome spotlight on their largely quiet existence.


Inns get bookings for gay weddings
By Derek Gentile
Berkshire Eagle Staff
Gay marriage for in-state couples becomes legal in Massachusetts on May 17, and many local inns and conference facilities have at least one or two same-sex weddings scheduled for the summer, many of which are for out-of-state couples.

Gov. Mitt Romney recently announced that he intends to block out-of-state same-sex couples who are seeking to wed in Massachusetts. Romney is relying on a 1913 law that bars unions that would not be legal in the couples' home state. No other state allows gay marriage.

John Massery, director of sales at the Seven Hills Resort, said he has been very careful to explain the situation to out-of-state, same-sex couples who are planning to wed at his facility this summer.

"These folks are going to go through with it," said Massery. "I go over the whole situation with them, and I've said, 'Do you understand that in May, it may not be legal?' But they tell me, 'We're going through with this regardless or whether it is legal or not. We want to have a ceremony.' "


More same-sex couples wed in New Paltz, N.Y.

At least another 10 same-sex couples were married on Saturday in New Paltz, N.Y., bringing the total number of gay weddings in the small upstate town to more than 100. Two Unitarian Universalist ministers and one interfaith minister performed the ceremonies, the Reverend Kay Greenleaf told the Poughkeepsie Journal. Six people protested during the ceremony, standing on a street corner distributing religious information. The group, Truthful Witness Campaign, grew out of the Christian Coalition, according to protester Diane Garrison. They are not an antigay group, she said; they just want everyone to know that homosexuality is an "unhealthy" and "unnatural" lifestyle and that Jesus Christ can set anyone free from any sin.


Govt mulls gay marriage restriction
Prime Minister John Howard has confirmed the Federal Government is considering blocking legal recognition of gay marriages.

The Australian Greens have accused the Labor Party of turning its back on socially just policies by backing the Prime Minister's position.

Tasmanian Liberal Senator Guy Barnett is among 31 Coalition backbenchers who petitioned Mr Howard for amendments to the 1961 Marriages Act.

The changes would effectively ban unions between same sex couples.


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