poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Unitarian church votes unanimously to welcome gays
By STACEY PALEVSKY, Courier Staff Writer

CEDAR FALLS --- The Unitarian Universalist Society of Black Hawk County has become the 416th Unitarian church to become a "welcoming congregation."

It is the second congregation in the Cedar Valley to officially welcome gay, lesbian and transgender members. The United Church of Christ in Cedar Falls adopted a welcoming resolution in February.


Sexuality an Overlooked Diversity Factor
Short-Sighted Companies Might Miss Out on About 10 Percent of the Labor Pool
By Amy Joyce
Washington Post Staff Writer
Greg Rohner used to "pronoun flip" when co-workers asked him what he had done over the weekend. The "he's" in his mind became "she's" from his mouth because he didn't want to let on that he had spent the time with his boyfriend. He never felt he could put the cute picture of the two of them up in his cubicle, the way his co-workers posted snapshots of their spouses. And those holiday parties were so painful when he introduced his partner as a close buddy.

So when Rohner interviewed for his job in Chicago as premium auditor at the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies, his ears perked up at something the interviewer said: "spouse or partner."

The casual mention of something that included Rohner rather than excluded him made his heart skip a beat. This was someone he could work for.

As many gay job seekers have learned to do, Rohner, 38, did his research before going job-hunting to make sure he could finally feel comfortable in his work environment. Although the number of companies that provide same-sex partner benefits has not jumped a significant amount in recent years, employees say they are seeing a change in attitude and acceptance that helps them, as gay employees, work to their fullest potential, not having to hide their private lives. "When GLBT [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender] people know that they have a safe workplace to work in, then they can be who they are, and I think that's really important because everybody else gets to be who they are," said Luke Visconti, co-founder of DiversityInc magazine. "You hear people say it's a personal thing and they don't care about that. But if you look at any executive's office, you see pictures of friends, families, spouses. If [employees] can't be themselves, they can't participate in the work experience others can participate in."


Law change to block gay marriages
By Emma-Kate Symons
JOHN HOWARD plans a radical overhaul of the marriage act to defend traditional families and stop Australian courts recognising foreign gay unions.
The move echoes George W. Bush's election-year campaign to ban same-sex marriages in the US.

The Australian understands the reforms approved by federal cabinet would entrench the commonwealth's power to protect heterosexual marriage from changes by the states and territories and prevent gay couples from gaining recognition of their unions by marrying in countries such as Canada or Denmark.

But the proposed amendments to the 1961 Marriage Act could spark a culture and values war between the socially conservative Prime Minister and Labor leader Mark Latham.

Mr Latham has backed legal equality for gay couples in superannuation and other entitlements but the ALP is split on the legitimacy of gay marriage.


Same-Sex Marriage
The mayor of one of Ohio's most liberal cities has advice for activists promoting gay marriage -- tread lightly.

Edward Kelley is mayor of Cleveland Heights. He says that if he were in the gay and lesbian community, he would not be pushing the issue if he wanted John Kerry elected.

Polls show Ohioans oppose gay marriage by a 3-1 ratio.

But gay and lesbian leaders in the Cleveland area are reluctant to back off.


Anti-abortion bill defeated
Committee vote on bill challenging Roe v. Wade shows how divisive issue is for GOP legislators
Rep. Gary Simrill, R-York, had hoped an anti-abortion measure he backed in the state Legislature could lead South Carolina to the U.S. Supreme Court and overturn Roe v. Wade.

But the bill died last week in a controversial vote that illustrates how State House Republicans are divided on the issue.


Epicsopalians in R.I. seek foreign ties
Upset about the ordination of a gay bishop, a local group gathers to guild a connection with Anglicans overseas.
COVENTRY -- Seeing themselves in a battle for the soul of the church, Episcopalians from more than two dozen parishes set out yesterday to find ways to stay connected to a worldwide Anglican Communion troubled by the ordination of the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop.

Representatives from 21 of Rhode Island 63 Episcopal churches attended.

Meeting for seven hours at St. Andrew and St. Philip Church, the 125 participants said that it wasn't their intention to withdraw from either the Diocese of Rhode Island or the U.S. Episcopal Church, but that they shared the concern voiced by Anglican church leaders around the world who believe the ordination of V. Gene Robinson as bishop of New Hampshire violated Scripture.


Gay candidate hopes to make history in Gold Dome race
Alex Wan could face two gay-friendly opponents in urban district
When Alex Wan went to the state Capitol to lobby legislators against the constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage earlier this year, he said he was baffled by a political process that would allow such a measure to pass.

Wan, owner of an architecture consulting firm in Tucker, said he had been considering running for public office for some time when — in the middle of the gay marriage amendment debate — new legislative district maps were released.

“When the maps came down, it was like, ‘OK, there’s a real opportunity here, Alex — you’ve got to decide if you’re in or out,’” Wan said.

Wan decided to jump in the race for the new District 42A, an intown area that includes Morningside, Ansley Park and Virginia Highland, hoping he can bring a new voice to the General Assembly.


SF chief attacked on gay marriage support
By David Quinn
SINN Fein's Martin McGuinness, a practising Catholic, has been attacked by a leading churchman after openly expressing his support for gay marriage and adoption, as well as abortion under certain circumstances.

Mr McGuinness, who is interviewed in this week's Irish Catholic, also denies there is any antagonism in Sinn Fein towards the Catholic Church.

He dismisses Catholic Church opposition to gay marriage, reiterated in a Vatican document issued last year and says he backs his party's support for gay marriage and adoption on the grounds that we "live in a new age of equality".

Mr McGuinness also says he personally supports abortion in cases of rape, incest, or where the life of the mother is at risk.


The Alzheimer's Society launch lesbian and gay network
The Alzheimer's Society Lesbian and Gay Network was officially launched at a special reception in central London on Thursday 22 April 2004.

Dementia does not discriminate and it is not just a heterosexual condition. It is estimated that there are between 35,000 – 50,000 lesbian and gay carers of people with dementia in the UK.

The expansion of the network gives practical direction to the Society’s commitment to providing a high quality and inclusive service for all. Over the next two years the project will receive £90,000 from Comic Relief to develop and strengthen its work. The funding has also enabled the Society to appoint a development officer to promote the services provided by the Network as well as establish the specific needs of lesbian and gay people with dementia and their carers.


AIDS As Big A Threat As Al-Quaida
by Malcolm Thornberry Newscenter
European Bureau Chief
(London)  AIDS has become as big a threat to world peace as terrorism but the major nations have their heads buried in the sand the chief the United Nations AIDS agency says.

UNAIDS Executive Director Peter Piot said that the US and the European Union need to put as much energy and resources into combating HIV/AIDS as it does fighting al-Quaida.

“It’s as big of a threat as terrorism,” Piot said this week in Oslo, referring to massive poverty as a result of AIDS, sparking political unrest which could lead to cross-border conflicts, as well as a weakening of defense forces in heavily infected countries.

“Millions of orphans, children with no future, it’s enough that there is a warlord who puts a Kalashnikov in their hands.”


Race chief blasts homophobia
Trevor Phillips warns of more multicultural failures
Kamal Ahmed, political editor
The Observer
One of the country's leading black figures is backing a national holiday in England to mark St George's Day as a way of reconnecting Britain's diverse community with national history.

In a controversial speech tomorrow Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, will say that being British is nothing to do with being white and that it is time for sections of the black community to admit failures on serious issues such as Aids and HIV.

He will say that homophobia among some sections of the African community in Britain is hampering the fight against the disease.

Organisations often turn a 'cultural blind eye' to controversial issues in an effort to respect 'multiculturalism', Phillips will argue.

He will also say that because of an over-sensitive approach to some communities, important issues are suffering from


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