poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Activists gear up for gay marriage ban battle
Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - Now that the Legislature has given Missouri voters the task of deciding whether to ban gay marriage in the state Constitution, activists on both sides are gearing up for the battle at the ballot box.

Organizations already have been formed by those supporting adoption of the constitutional amendment and those fighting against it.

On Saturday, less than a full day after lawmakers gave final approval to the proposed amendment, a leader of the state's gay rights organization was already out, knocking on doors in the St. Louis area and informing people about the issue.

The proposed constitutional amendment would state: "That to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman."


Hartford rallies for and against gay marriage

(Hartford-AP, May 16, 2004 4:15 PM) _ Gay marriage detractors held an hour-long protest in Hartford this afternoon on the north side of the Capitol.

Around 115 people listened to several speakers denounce Massachusetts' decision to legalize gay marriage. At midnight, the Bay State will become the country's first state to legalize gay marriages.

Family Institute of Connecticut Executive Director Brian Brown urged people to contact Connecticut's U-S Senator Joseph Leiberman to show their support of President Bush's proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

Brown says he'll be at Lieberman's Hartford office at noon tomorrow with a petition signed by 90 thousand people supporting Bush's amendment.

The opponents were occasionally shouted down by gay marriage supporters, who are also holding a rally at the Capital this afternoon.


Religious Leaders of 18 Faith Traditions Hold Prayerful Interfaith Gathering, Blessing Couples about to Legally Wed

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- On the eve of history -- as committed, loving gay and lesbian couples are able to receive civil marriage licenses and the critical benefits, protections and responsibilities that are associated with the unique legal status of civil marriage -- leaders of 18 faith traditions join in an interfaith prayer service entitled Blessings on the Eve of History, a prayerful gathering to celebrate the issuing of civil marriage licenses to same-sex couples and to bless couples who are planning to legally marry.

"We rejoice that same-sex couples and their children can now receive the legal protections that they have been denied, and we are grateful that civil marriage for same-sex couples is now recognized as a constitutionally-protected civil right," says Rabbi Devon Lerner, co-chair of the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry. "As clergy members who provide pastoral care to gay and non-gay families, we know better than anyone the important role civil marriage rights play in promoting the stability of families in times of crisis including serious illness, death and economic downturn."

"We also seek to remind people that civil marriage is not the same as religious marriage. In fact, the issuance of civil marriage licenses does not affect the ability of each faith tradition to decide for itself which religious marriages to perform and which marriages to religiously recognize," continued Rabbi Lerner. "Several denominations have performed religious marriages for same-sex couples for years, and others do not perform such ceremonies. It is a testament to the separation of church and state in this country that all of us in the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry can come together in strong support for civil marriage rights even as some denominations continue to grapple with performing religious marriages for same- sex couples."


Gays Attacked At Palestinian Protest
by Peter Moore Newscenter 

(London)  Members of two British gay rights groups were attacked when they attempted to participate in a demonstration for Palestinian rights.

OutRage and Queer Youth Alliance went to the protest march at Trafalgar Square to show their support for people of Palestine. But they also urged the Palestinian Authority to halt the arrest, torture and murder of homosexuals.

As soon as they arrived at the square to members of the two groups were surrounded by an angry, screaming mob of Islamic fundamentalists, Anglican clergymen, members of the Socialist Workers Party, the Stop the War Coalition, and officials from the protest organizers, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC). 

They variously attacked the gay activists as “racists”, “Zionists”, “CIA and MI5 agents”, “supporters of the Sharon government” and accused the gays of  “dividing the Free Palestine movement”.


Crowds Gather for Gay Weddings in Mass.
BOSTON - Like fans anxious for concert tickets, same-sex couples waited for line for hours Sunday outside Cambridge's City Hall for an event they once thought they'd never get to experience: marriage.

Marcia Hams, 56, and her partner, Susan Shepherd, 52, of Cambridge, showed up at midnight Saturday _ a full 24 hours ahead of time _ to stake out the first spot in line where the city clerk was to hand out the nation's first state-sanctioned gay marriage applications.

"People do this for Red Sox tickets, concert tickets," said Hams, a health care advocate who has been with Shepherd, a graduate student, for 27 years. "Certainly we can do it for this."

The couple, one of five stationed outside city hall by mid-afternoon, sat in lawn chairs, donned rain jackets to protect themselves from a light drizzle and drank plenty of coffee.

Sunday morning, a young man approached them and gave them a large red flower, saying, "I wish you a long and happy marriage."


It's A Crime To Be Gay But Singapore Wants Our Money
by Peter Hacker Newscenter

(Singapore) Homosexuality in Singapore is punishable by up to two years in prison, but, a government run bank says it is going after the pink buck.

The DBS Bank announced this week it is looking into issuing a special credit card targeting the gay market. The bank points to studies showing that gays are "affluent" and that they support brands that touch them personally.

"If the market is big enough, we will consider it," said Edmund Koh, head of consumer banking at DBS.

The Singapore government's investment arm, Temasek Holdings, owns 28.8% of DBS.


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