poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Defense Begins in Transgender Slay Trial
Associated Press
HAYWARD, Calif. -
Attorneys for three men charged with killing a transgender teenager began their defense Tuesday, attempting to chip away at the credibility of the prosecution's key witness. Michael Magidson, 23, Jose Merel and Jason Cazares, both 24, are charged with killing Eddie "Gwen" Araujo in October 2002 after discovering the 17-year-old they knew as a pretty girl called Lida was biologically male.


Gay-marriage ban approved by panel
Mike Hasten / Louisiana Gannett News/Baton Rouge
BATON ROUGE - State senators supporting a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages say they're not confident that Louisiana's explicit law doing the same thing would stand up to a court challenge, so it needs constitutional protection.

With a 5-2 vote, the Senate Judiciary A Committee endorsed SB 166 by Sen. John Hainkel, R-New Orleans, and sent the constitutional amendment to the full Senate for a vote.


Cracks In Vatican Anti-Gay Stance
by Malcolm Thornberry Newscenter
(Madrid) The papal ambassador to Spain has made a stunning admission: The Vatican made a mistake in not supporting same-sex couples.

It is the first time that a high ranking official in the Catholic Church has questioned the official position that gay relationships are "evil and deviant" and indicates, Church-watchers say, a major crack in what was until now considered an impenetrable wall of opposition to gay unions.

"The new political situation in which we are living in Spain sets new challenges in the spreading of the gospel and we must meet those challenges in an appropriate manner," Monsignor Manuel Monteiro de Castro told a conference of Spanish bishops.

The speech shocked some in the audience, surprised the government, and gave hope to thousands of gay couples in what is considered Europe's most Catholic country.


Gay marriage bill attacked by lawmakers
By Kate Andrews  / Daily Progress staff writer
May 5, 2004
State Sen. R. Creigh Deeds blasted Republican legislators Tuesday for a “mean-spirited and unnecessary” bill banning gay marriage and legal contracts between unmarried partners.

But illustrating the complexity of the controversial issue, Deeds acknowledged that he had voted for a modified version of the measure, which awaits the governor’s signature.


City Council hears officers' appeal for same-sex benefits

Two of Omaha's lesbian police officers made impassioned pleas for benefits covering their families during a City Council hearing Tuesday.

Officer Anna Doyle is raising an 11-month-old son with her longtime female domestic partner. Doyle asked council members to imagine not being able to provide benefits for their children.
"It is heartbreaking," Doyle said. "I'm willing to take the risks that go with this job - that is my choice. But I am not willing to let anyone tell me that my partner and my child are not worthy of the same benefits that protect my fellow officers' families."

Police union president Tim Andersen told the council the union removed limited funeral and family sick leave benefits recognizing same-sex domestic partners from the proposed contract.


Mass. Residency Proof Not Required for Gay Marriage
Out-of-State Couples Can't Legally Wed There
By Jonathan Finer
Washington Post Staff Writer
BARNSTABLE, Mass., May 4 -- A top legal adviser to Gov. Mitt Romney (R) told a gathering of city and town clerks Tuesday that marriage licenses issued in Massachusetts to same-sex couples from other states will be "null and void" and could have serious legal consequences for the couples involved.

But Daniel B. Winslow also said that couples need not provide evidence of residency and that those who "intend to reside" in the state are eligible to receive marriage licenses, opening the door for some out-of-state gay couples to marry here when such unions become legal on May 17.

A sworn statement at the bottom of marriage forms is sufficient evidence, and no further proof is necessary, Winslow said.

"What this means is it is not up to us to be the police for this whole particular process," said Linda E. Hutchenrider, president of the Massachusetts Town Clerks Association, who said the meeting had cleared up confusion over how the controversial law would be enforced. "It will be up to couples to make honest statements."


Gay Christians wants civil partnership ceremonies in church
ROBBIE DINWOODIE, Chief Scottish Political Correspondent 
A GROUP of gay Christians is asking MSPs to agree to allow proposed civil partnership ceremonies to be undertaken by ministers in churches.

While these would not amount to full-scale gay weddings which ministers north and south of the border are running scared of, the request to MSPs to insert an amending clause into a Sewel motion on the issue could well spark a similar moral panic.


Calif. Assembly speaker says gay marriage bill probably dead this year
Associated Press
WASHINGTON - A California gay marriage bill that won historic committee passage last month probably won't go any farther this year, state Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez said Tuesday.

"I think we have to pick our battles, and it's probably not a fight we engage in this year," the Los Angeles Democrat told reporters during a trip to Washington to meet with lawmakers.

"But certainly I think during my tenure I would like to see people get the respect that they deserve regardless of who they love," said Nunez, who supports the bill.

The measure passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee last month, marking the first formal vote in support of gay marriage by a legislative body in the United States.


Church Court Nixes Lesbian Pastor Review
by Newscenter Staff
(Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) A lesbian pastor accused and acquitted of breaking United Methodist church law by being in a committed relationship will not be subjected to a review by the faith's highest court.

The UM Judicial Council ruled Tuesday that it does not have the authority to review the case.

The church permits gay and lesbian pastors but only if they are celibate. The Rev. Karen Dammann told her bishop last year that she is in a relationship.  

Conservatives in the church forced the bishop to put Dammann on trial but last month a church jury found her not guilty.


Lesbian allowed to seek parental rights

A Seattle woman who hasn't been able to see the child she and her same-sex partner were raising since the couple separated will be allowed to seek parental rights. The Washington State court of appeals ruled Monday that Sue Ellen Carvin, who goes by the name Mian, can return to a King County superior court and seek to prove that she has a parental relationship with the girl, now 8 years old.

The ruling could create a new class of parent in the state.

Carvin sued her former partner, Page Britain, in November 2002, alleging that Britain had unfairly cut off access to Britain's biological daughter. Carvin has not seen the girl in two years, and her attorney, Patricia Novotny, said the woman is "so very pleased and anxious to be reunited with her daughter." "This case is about the relationship between my daughter and me," Carvin said in a written statement, "but it stretches beyond those boundaries to include people in similar situations."


Proposed immigration act excludes same-sex couples

The Safe, Orderly Legal Visas and Enforcement Act, which addresses current U.S. immigration policy but fails to recognize gay and lesbian families, was introduced in the Senate and House on Tuesday by Massachusetts senator Edward Kennedy and representatives Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) and Robert Menendez (D-N.J.).

Adam Francoeur, program coordinator for Immigration Equality, an organization that advocates for LGBT immigration rights, commented on the proposed bill: "Our immigration system is in desperate need of reform, and this bill provides relief to thousands of immigrants for whom the pledge for family unification has been deferred. While we support this legislation and its aims, we are disappointed that this bill does not extend immigration benefits to gay and lesbian partners of U.S. citizens and permanent residents."


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