poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, May 20, 2004

After three-day wait, dozens of gay couples exchange their vows
The Associated Press
By JENNIFER PETER Associated Press Writer

BOSTON (AP) - The Rev. Kim Crawford Harvie had barely retreated down the aisle with her wife of five minutes when she donned her white robes and got back to work, helping to marry dozens of other gay couples during a full day of back-to-back weddings at the Arlington Street Church.

"OK, I'm ready for my next couple!" said Harvie, 46, senior minister at the Unitarian Universalist church since 1989, who married her partner of seven years, Kem Morehead, in a ceremony officiated by Rabbi Howard Berman.

So began a marathon day of weddings at the church in Boston's Back Bay - which planned to marry nearly 50 couples on Thursday - and at chapels, parks and on beaches across the state, as a mandatory three-day waiting period expired for couples who obtained the nation's first gay marriage license applications on Monday. Dozens of other couples that got a court waiver of the waiting period have already been married.

The new round of nuptials came as Gov. Mitt Romney took the first steps toward blocking city and town clerks from issuing marriage licenses to out-of-state gay couples, which the Republican governor says is prohibited by state law. Attorney General Tom Reilly said the governor's office was referring a "handful" of cases to him regarding out-of-state couples who received licenses, but Reilly would not say whether he planned to prosecute the couples or the clerks.


Unwelcome at School?
Homosexual students attending Fairfax County Public Schools say they face hurtful comments but little overt harassment.
by Brian McNeill

Every school day at 10 a.m. Brian Picone, an openly gay 16-year-old, rides a bus to Fairfax High School for dance class, knowing he will once again face slurs from students who pass him in the hallway.

"They call me faggot. There’s a lot of yelling and pointing," he said. "It’s scary. It’s really bad there."

Picone’s fellow students at his regular school, Falls Church High School, have mostly come to accept that Picone is gay. He still frequently overhears the words "fag" and "gay" used as synonyms for stupid, and the posters he makes for the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance club are often ripped off the wall, but he knows it could be worse.


California supreme court to weigh gay marriage vs. mayoral powers

In the debate over gay marriage, all eyes are shifting from Massachusetts to California. That state's supreme court will hear oral arguments on Tuesday, May 25, regarding whether San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom misused his power when he allowed the issuance of 4,000 marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples earlier this year.

The highly charged hearing will have everything and yet nothing to do with same-sex marriage, since the justices already declined to address the civil rights issues involved. Those battles will have to percolate up through the state courts.

Tuesday's arguments will be focused on how much leeway elected officials have to interpret the law--and on that question experts predict that Newsom will lose. The justices are virtually certain, experts say, to prevent the legal anarchy that could result if local officials are empowered to choose which laws to follow. "The prospect of local government officials unilaterally defying state laws with which they disagree is untenable and inconsistent with the precepts of our legal system," California attorney general Bill Lockyer said in a brief filed with the court.

California laws clearly defines marriage as a union between a man and woman. In 2000, voters also approved a statewide initiative requiring the state to recognize only opposite-sex marriages.


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