poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Monday, May 10, 2004

Federal Lawsuit Filed to Stop Same-Sex Marriage in Massachusetts
Contact: Thomas More Law Center, 734-827-2001; Web:

ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 10 /U.S. Newswire/ -- With only a week remaining until same-sex couples will be allowed to legally marry in Massachusetts, the Thomas More Law Center and several other pro-family groups have opened up a new front by filing a federal lawsuit claiming that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court exceeded its authority by redefining marriage thereby violating the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of a republican form of government.

The Thomas More Law Center joined Liberty Counsel, Citizens for the Preservation of Constitutional Rights, and AFA Center for Law and Policy in asking a federal judge to stop the enforcement of Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the decision which legalized so called "same-sex marriage."

Under the Massachusetts constitution, it is the role of the legislature and not the courts to define marriage for the Commonwealth. By accepting jurisdiction to hear the Goodridge case in the first instance and by redefining marriage to permit same-sex couples to marry, the Massachusetts high court exceeded the powers granted it and thereby violated the federal constitutional guarantee that prevents one branch of government from acting above the law.

According to the lawsuit, the judicial activism that produced this decision violates the federal constitutional guarantee of a republican form of government. The Guarantee Clause of the U.S. Constitution states that "The United States shall guarantee to every State in the Union a Republican Form of Government." This constitutional provision serves to prevent the accumulation of excessive power in any one branch of government thereby reducing the risk of tyranny.


Love Exiles on board for 13-city U.S. tour
Dutch foundation launched with global mandate

Yesterday, Love Exiles Foundation, the newest organization for gay and lesbian rights in the Netherlands, was launched. The Foundation was set up to address discrimination that same-sex bi-national couples and their families face, particularly in the area of immigration. Dutch gays and lesbians still lack essential rights they need to protect themselves and their families when they go abroad. Once outside the Dutch border, spousal relations are often not recognized. Love Exiles supports these families and educates the public about the issues same-sex couples face. There are local Love Exiles groups in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, and Canada.

Dutch same-sex marriages, registered partnerships and living-together contracts aren’t recognized in most other countries.

“If you are outside the Netherlands and your partner is hospitalized, you may be excluded from making medical decisions or even visiting your partner in the hospital. No matter how much effort you have taken to protect each other in the event of death, when you travel outside the Netherlands you may not be considered family and your arrangements may not be respected by local authorities. In most countries, our relationships are not recognized for immigration purposes. Even within the EU we cannot move as partners and maintain our rights in another country”, explains Love Exiles founder and chairperson, Martha McDevitt-Pugh. She concludes: “We live on an island of acceptance. We need a world, not an island.”


Ministers go public with views on gay marriage
Sixty-five Rhode Island ministers sign a petition supporting gay rights; 35 pastors endorse a resolution stating their opposition.
Journal Staff Writer

The ministers knew they would upset some of their parishioners, and they knew they might irritate some of their superiors, but they did it anyway.

Sixty-five Rhode Island ministers recently signed a petition saying they support gay rights. They hope to persuade state legislators to approve laws that will give gay and lesbian couples the privilege of marriage.

On the other side of the issue, 35 pastors from Christian evangelical churches signed a resolution stating their opposition to gay marriage.

State legislators are considering several bills that would allow same-sex couples to enter into civil marriages. Another bill has been introduced that limits marriage to one man and one woman and rejects same-sex marriages conducted in other states.


Witch to sue mayor
Liam Houlihan
May 11, 2004

TAXPAYERS will foot a $50,000 bill so that a transgender "witch" may sue a suburban mayor for outing her.

Free legal work, tribunal fees and a solicitor and barrister were believed to have been given to Ms Watts by Victoria Legal Aid.

Several top barristers were angered by the use of scarce Legal Aid funds, but Attorney-General Rob Hulls gave his OK to a similar case.


Outreach effort counters marriage backlash
By Deb Price / The Detroit News

Going door-to-door to build support for same-sex marriage, Judah Dorrington braced herself, anticipating a hostile reaction when she knocked at her first house.

“I had nightmares,” recalls Dorrington, a 47-year-old black woman who was part of a team that recently talked to likely voters in a predominantly African-American neighborhood in Boston. “I thought somebody’s going to shout, ‘Jesus says it’s wrong,’ and slam the door in my face.”

Instead, in each of 20 interactions, Dorrington met a voter who listened respectfully to why she feels she and her partner of 23 years will benefit from marriage.

“Most people did see it as a civil rights issue. And only one person said he was opposed. Nobody was mean and nasty,” she says. “I saw what I was saying really was changing people’s hearts and minds.”


Gays, lesbians seek to defend their families

The reports over the last couple months of communities allowing gay and lesbian couples to be legally married have shown pictures of couples with glowing faces on courthouse steps, but few of these reports have delved very far into the question of why we want to be married under the laws of our state. The reasons are as many and varied as the couples themselves, but most couples' reasons boil down to the same core: We want to protect the families we have created.

 To love, honor and cherish:

The U.S. Census taken in 2000 recorded over half a million same-sex households; more specifically, persons of the same sex living in the household who identified themselves as "unmarried partners" of the householder, rather than as "housemate or roommate." Of these couples, approximately 33 percent of female couples and 22 percent of male couples included children. The reality is that we are family.

 For richer or for poorer:

Marriage automatically creates an economic community recognized by society, and society conveys civil protections for such economic communities. These protections include a myriad property rights and tax benefits granted by state and federal authorities, all designed to stabilize the economic communities created by married couples and help them spread out the economic ups and downs of life by sharing the economic burden between two adults for their mutual benefit and the benefit of any children they have. In return for the benefits they receive, married couples contribute to the stability of their towns, states and nations by helping to absorb the impact of financial blows such as layoffs and illnesses.

 In sickness and in health:

One of the benefits most married couples take for granted is the right to visit one another in the hospital. While this right may be limited under some circumstances, for the most part it is not questioned by hospital or medical authorities. California has now extended this right to registered domestic partners, but there is no guarantee that medical authorities in other states will recognize this right if California domestic partners are injured or become ill in some other state. And while we can create medical powers of attorney granting our partners the right to make medical decisions on our behalf, again there is no guarantee that they will be recognized outside California.


Draft fairness measure is ready
But Metro Council unlikely to act soon 
The Courier-Journal

A draft ordinance that would extend a law protecting the civil rights of gays and lesbians in Louisville is written and ready to go, and supporters say they believe they have the votes to pass it.

But the Metro Council apparently will not consider the hot-button issue any time soon — because neither Democrats nor Republicans want it on the table before the November election.

Democrats, who traditionally have supported the so-called fairness ordinance, say they fear it could get lost in election-year rhetoric if it comes up now, while Republicans say they have not had time to focus on it.



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