poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Governor's office seeks records from two additional cities
The Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) - Gov. Mitt Romney's legal office has requested marriage documents from Attleboro and Fall River after clerks there acknowledged issuing licenses to out-of-state gay couples in defiance of the governor's residency requirement, the clerks said Thursday.

Romney press secretary Shawn Feddeman would not comment on the request, but said, "Anytime we find have reason to believe there are blatant violations of the law, we will refer them to the attorney general's office."

The Republican governor warned clerks that the state would not recognize marriages by nonresident gay couples.

Soon after gay marriage became legal on May 17, Romney's office requested records from four other municipalities - Provincetown, Somerville, Springfield and Worcester - which had openly defied the residency law.


Kansas Supreme Court to Hear ACLU Appeal of 17-Year Prison Sentence for Gay Teenager

TOPEKA, KS - The Kansas Supreme Court has agreed to consider the American Civil Liberties Union's appeal on behalf of a gay teenager who was sentenced to 17 years in prison for consensual oral sex, the ACLU said today. Matthew Limon has already been in prison for four years and three months - three and a half times longer than the maximum sentence he would have received if he were heterosexual.

"The only reason Matthew Limon is still in prison today is because he's gay," said Tamara Lange, a staff attorney with the ACLU Lesbian and Gay Rights Project, which represents Limon. She added, "The Kansas Supreme Court has an opportunity to correct the grave injustice that has been done to this young man and the mockery that his sentence makes of the equal protection guarantees in the Constitution."

In February of 2000, Limon and another male teenager were both students at the same co-ed residential school for developmentally disabled youth in Miami County, Kansas. A week after Limon's 18th birthday, he performed consensual oral sex on the other teenager, who was nearly 15 years old - three years, one month and a few days younger than Limon. Limon was convicted under Kansas's "Romeo and Juliet" law, which gives much lighter sentences to heterosexual teenagers who have sex with younger teens, but specifically excludes gay teenagers.

"Because he had sex with another male, Matthew Limon will be in prison until he's 35 years old," said Dick Kurtenbach, Executive Director of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri. "For Kansas to sentence a gay person 13 times more harshly than it would a heterosexual for the same offense is clearly unconstitutional, and we're pleased the Court is willing to reconsider this young man's sentence."


Mediation with Atlanta Country Club and Lesbian Members Breaks Down
May 27, 2004 News

ATLANTA - A dispute over the lesbian members of a private country club seeking spousal benefits for their domestic partners is back in the hands of Mayor Shirley Franklin after mediation efforts fell apart Wednesday.

Atlanta's gay community has been a fiscal and public support of Franklin, supporting her when she ran for mayor in 2001.

The dispute between the Druid Hills Golf Club board and club members, Lee Kyser and Randy New, became public in January. That was when the Atlanta Human Relations Commission ruled that the club was violating the city's anti-discrimination ordinance by refusing spousal privileges to the lesbian members.

Franklin requested the mediation. The first and only meeting between the two sides took place Wednesday and got nowhere.


Same-Sex Marriage Ad Contest Begins

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Borrowing a page from the playbook of online political organization, a national gay rights group is sponsoring an advertising contest that it hopes will lead to television audiences seeing positive images of same-sex marriage.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, which monitors how gays and lesbians are portrayed in the media, plans to air the winning entry or entries in its "I Do" competition in markets where political opposition to marriage rights for gay couples is fiercest, said Joan Garry, the New York-based group's executive director.

"My hope is that we come up with a winning spot and an inventory of other spots that speak to people in America who may not be quite clear about where they stand on the issue of marriage rights, and it's my hope these spots will move them, literally and emotionally," Garry said.

The contest begins Thursday with the launch of a new Web site where viewers will be able to vote for their favorite 30-second ads after the July 1 submission deadline. A seven-member panel of entertainment industry judges will choose the winner from a group of finalists selected by GLAAD's staff.


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