poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Anglican Church "could formally split", reports suggest
Ben Townley, UK
The Anglican Church may formally split into a looser "confederation", so as to manage its diverging attitudes towards homosexuality, according to press reports.

The worldwide Church, which has around 70 million members, is currently on the verge of dividing over the issue of gay clergy, after the US branch appointed a gay man as bishop of New Hampshire.

Although a commission has currently been set up to consider the issue of gay clergy and same-sex relationships, The Times reports today that a formal split may be the commissions findings. It is thought that when it reports back to the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams in September, it could propose the Church break into an Anglican Confederation, rather than the current Anglican Communion.

This would allow a looser link between the different branches of the Church and would allow the central Church of England and Dr Williams to reduce the status of those that do not follow the set guidelines on issues such as gay clergy.


Refugee board says he's safe in Mexico
The Immigration and Refugee Board has rejected the asylum case of a Mexican homosexual man on the grounds that he is not "visibly effeminate" and therefore not vulnerable to persecution in his homeland.

Fernando Enrique Rivera, who lifts weights, wears his hair closely cropped and favours jeans and conservative sports shirts, believes the IRB's decision shows a stereotypical understanding of homosexuality.

"I know some gay refugees who put on lipstick and dressed effeminately for their hearings because they thought it would help their case. But that is not who I am," Mr. Rivera said in an interview in a Church Street eatery in the heart of Toronto's gay village. "You don't choose to be gay. It's not like being a vegetarian. It's a very complex thing."

During the interview, a waiter jokingly chided him: "Your problem is, you're too butch."


Poland: The Case of the Stolen Gay Files
Neo-Nazi hacker suspected.
By Tomek Kitlinski

WARSAW. APRIL 19, 2004. On the night of February 15, a hacker broke into an e-mail account of Poland's leading gay organization, Campaign Against Homophobia. The hacker made off with the treasurer's entire membership list, which was instantly posted in two of the country's most popular commercial websites. Names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses of members were spiked with comments such as "pedophile" and "drug addict".

Within hours, the group's activists and supporters were emailed a barrage of hate messages. "You are deviants, alcoholics, drug addicts, carriers of sexually-transmitted diseases, and you spread AIDS," they said.

The Gdansk-based Baltic Daily, which broke the story on February 19, identified the hacker as "probably a sympathizer of a radical right-wing party, the National Revival of Poland." When he posted the Campaign's membership list, the hacker attached the NRP's "Ban the Fags" logo. According to the Roth Institute, Tel Aviv University, which tracks anti-Semitic groups, the NRP is a "predominantly neo-Nazi skinhead organization" mostly known "for its promotion of Holocaust denial."

In an official statement published on its website, the NRP denied having "committed the computer burglary." However, elsewhere on the same site, the NRP promised that "the actions in the "Ban the Fags" series will continue." It did not specify what those actions might be.



Same-sex couples who have been together for decades and Christians who condemn homosexuality faced off Tuesday before Sonoma County supervisors, who passed a resolution supporting gay marriage on a split vote.

Two hours of public testimony and the board vote itself underscored how the debate over gay marriage has divided the community, politicians and religious leaders.

After the polarized debate, Supervisors Valerie Brown, Mike Kerns, Mike Reilly and Tim Smith endorsed the resolution supporting gay marriages and opposing a constitutional amendment prohibiting them.

The resolution will not lead Sonoma County to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. It simply is a symbolic expression of the board's position on the issue of gay marriage.
"This is purely an issue of fairness, justice and equal treatment under the law," Kerns said.


Blumenthal to respond to Romney inquiry on gay marriage
Associated Press Writer
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said he would determine by the middle of May whether the state's laws recognize same-sex marriages performed in Massachusetts.

Blumenthal said his decision would be in response to a letter from Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney questioning if laws in any state permitted gay couples to marry.

Romney said in a letter to leaders in 49 states that out-of-state gay couples will be prohibited from marrying when same-sex marriage becomes legal in Massachusetts on May 17 unless the laws in their home state permit the marriages.

"We'll seek to provide an opinion as promptly as possible, but this legal territory is certainly new and uncharted," Blumenthal said Friday.


Gay Methodists Rejected

(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) The highest ecclesiastical court in the Methodist Church has reaffirmed the denomination's position that "homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching".

The United Methodist Judicial Council had been asked to revisit church teaching following the acquittal of Rev. Karen Dammann, a minister in Washington state who came out to her bishop.

In March a church jury found her not guilty of breaking church rules after Dammann told the bishop she was a lesbian and in a committed relationship. The jury found that church law was unclear on the subject.

Had she been found guilty she could have been removed from the clergy.  The church under some circumstances will allow gay ministers as long as they are "non practicing homosexuals".

The church court ruling angered conservatives in the religion who pushed to have it appealed.  There have been fears that this week's General Conference would end in a schism if the ban on "practicing" gay clergy were dropped.


Germany Expands Gay Partner Rights
(Berlin)  A German court has ruled that the civil service and all government agencies must pay benefits to the partners of same-sex couples equal to those they pay to the married spouses of heterosexuals.

The decision by the federal labor court in effect expands the country's domestic partner laws without parliamentary approval.  

In their ruling, the judges said that there is no difference between a registered life partnership and marriage when it came to remuneration in the public service, with the court accepting that a Eingetragenelebensgemeinschaft, the German term for a registered domestic partnership, also meant family status.

A leading member of the parliamentary Green Party, Volker Beck hailed the judgment as a "big break-through".

The judgment followed a case brought by a male nurse who claimed heterosexual married colleagues received higher benefits.


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