poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, May 13, 2004

hate happens early in amrka...

11 students arrested after brawl at Dillard High
By Shannon O'Boye

Fort Lauderdale · A brawl erupted Wednesday morning at Dillard High when one student attacked a boy because he said the boy propositioned his brother, police said.

At least nine other students quickly joined the fight, which took place in an outdoor courtyard during a schoolwide break about 9 a.m. Another 40 to 50 students stood watching.

School Resource Officer Ivory Nelson called for emergency backup, fearing a riot was about to erupt at the school, at 2501 NW 11th St. Most Fort Lauderdale police officers on duty responded to assist Nelson, who used pepper spray to break up the fight and disperse the crowd. The episode lasted about 10 minutes, though the school stayed on lockdown the rest of the day, Sgt. Alfred Lewers Jr. said.

At 11 a.m., school officials let students move between classrooms again, but no one was allowed to enter the campus or leave unless a parent came to pick up a student.


Egyptians protest "homosexual American executioners"

Egyptian demonstrators in Cairo and Tehran on Wednesday condemned abuse of Iraqi detainees by U.S. soldiers. In Cairo the protesters--most of the women were veiled and the men bearded, as is typical of Islamists--were surrounded by about 300 riot police. A white sheet draped in front of the gathering read, "Bring to justice the homosexual American executioners, their agents the traitors, their followers the enemies." They demanded that the U.S. ambassador be kicked out and that soldiers involved be brought to justice. "Tell the pigs' ambassador to leave the land of the Nile," about 50 Egyptian lawyers and journalists chanted, referring to U.S. ambassador David C. Welch.

Graphic images of naked prisoners piled on top of each other while smiling soldiers posed behind them and of inmates being forced to simulate sex acts and being terrorized by guard dogs turned long-standing abuse accusations into an international scandal. They also fed anti-American sentiment in the region. In Baghdad on Wednesday, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt announced that two more American soldiers have been ordered to stand trial on abuse charges, though no dates for the court-martials have been set. Another soldier's court-martial is May 19.

Mustafa Bakri, editor of the Al-Osboa weekly, one of three papers criticized by the U.S. Embassy for publishing fake photographs of American soldiers raping Iraqi women, warned those gathered that Egyptians too could one day be the target of U.S. humiliation and abuse. "Those gays forced our brothers in Iraq to practice homosexuality and filmed them. If we remain silent, we will be next," Bakri said.


Episcopal diocese sets same-sex wedding ban
By Michael Paulson, Globe Staff

The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, headed by three bishops who support gay marriage, is barring its priests from officiating at same-sex weddings, citing restrictive language in the canons and prayerbook of the church.

The decision by the Episcopalbishops, who are among the most outspoken religious supporters of same-sex couples in the state, is in line with the rulings of the vast majority of mainstream religious denominations, most of which are barring their clergy from officiating at the marriages of same-gender couples when those marriages become legal in the Commonwealth next week.

The Roman Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church, the United Methodist Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Greek Orthodox Church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints, the National Baptist Convention, and the Church of God in Christ are ordering or asking clergy not to officiate at same-sex marriages. Clergy in several religions and denominations with no hierarchy, such as Islam, Orthodox Judaism, and Conservative Judaism, as well as in most independent African-American Protestant and evangelical Protestant churches, are also expected to refuse to officiate at same-sex weddings. The prohibitions, in a state where hundreds of clergy have said they support same-sex marriage, are setting up serious conflicts and the possibility of ecclesiastical trials within several major denominations.

One local Episcopal priest, a prominent feminist theologian at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, has notified the bishop of Massachusetts that she plans to disobey him by officiating at the marriages of two lesbian couples this month; one Lutheran minister has similarly informed the bishop of New England of an intention to disobey. In both denominations, performing same-sex weddings despite instructions from bishops not to do so could lead to serious discipline, such as ouster from the ministry.


Hudson Selectmen Warn Chairman Over Anti-Gay Comments

NASHUA, N.H. -- Selectmen in Hudson, N.H., have given their chairman a warning after he acknowleged making anti-gay comments.

A resident complained to the board that Chairman Bill Cole had badmouthed gays, blacks and Italians. Cole conceded that he told the resident he thought gays should be shot if they come across the state border. He said he intended it as a flip comment and not to be derogatory.

Last night, his colleagues voted to formally warn him, saying they do not feel his comments were intended to be malicious or disrespectful.


Boston Nixes Out-Of-State Gay Marriages, 3 Other Cities Say OK
by Michael J. Meade Newscenter

(Boston, Massachusetts)  Massachusetts is likely to be a patchwork of cities and towns next week some of which will allow out-of-state gay couples to marry and others which will not. Wednesday Boston decided it will follow Gov. Mitt Romney's directive and not issue marriage licenses to gay couples from outside Massachusetts.

But, while Boston was making its announcement, neighboring Somerville said it would welcome out-of-staters. Worcester, about 45 miles west of Boston also said it would marry gay couples from outside the commonwealth. Earlier this week Provincetown announced it also would ignore Romney's directive.

Several other communities are also pondering whether to allow couples from outside Massachusetts to marry.

The Republican governor's directive stems from a little used 1913 law that says marriage licenses cannot be issued to out-of-state couples if their marriages would be "void" in the couples' home states.  The law dates back to a period when interracial marriage was legal in Massachusetts but illegal in most other states.


A Look at Democrats' Delegate Goals

State Democratic parties that have set numerical goals to include gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgendered delegates in their delegations to the Democratic National Convention in Boston in July.

_CALIFORNIA: 440 total delegates, including 22 gay men and 22 lesbians.

_COLORADO: 64 total delegates, including three gay or lesbian delegates.

_FLORIDA: 201 total delegates, including 20 gay or lesbian delegates, plus three alternates.

_IOWA: 56 total delegates, including two gay or lesbian delegates. . . ...(the rest)


Gay activists launch anti-Oklahoma ad

A gay and lesbian rights group started a million-dollar advertising campaign Monday with an ad in a national newspaper saying Oklahoma is "going out of business" because of its proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Cimarron Equality Oklahoma said in a news release that by effectively telling gays they are not welcome in the state, Oklahoma would also drive away economic development. "Studies show that a state's level of tolerance for its gay and lesbian citizens directly impacts its success in attracting the talented people and creative atmosphere essential for economic growth in today's competitive marketplace," the group said in its ad, which took up nearly half a page in the Money section of USA Today.

The state house voted 92-4 on April 22 to send to voters a proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage as only the union of one man and one woman. Under the proposal, same-sex marriages performed in other states would not be recognized in Oklahoma, and knowingly issuing a marriage license to gay couples would be a misdemeanor. Oklahoma already outlaws same-sex marriages in statutes but not in its constitution. Sen. James Williamson (R-Tulsa), who wrote the proposed amendment, called the ad campaign "outrageous.... There is a real hunger for a return to traditional values and for leaders who will draw a line in the sand to help stop the moral decay of this country. I believe Oklahoma's efforts to protect traditional marriage will help us attract new jobs and businesses." He predicted the campaign would backfire. "The vast majority of Americans would support our efforts to protect the traditional concept of marriage, and so, indirectly, I think the ad may be beneficial to Oklahoma," Williamson said.


Iraqi's wartime diary to be made into film   

The Baghdad Blog, a book based on the wartime online diary of an Iraqi man, is set to be made into a film, BBC reported Wednesday.

Media group Intermedia reportedly is searching for a scriptwriter to adapt the book, which tells the story of a man, identified only as Salam Pax, who regularly wrote his Jordanian friend, Raed, to describe what was occurring during the conflict.

Salam Pax's diary, Dear Raed, became an Internet sensation during the Iraq war as the author spent months writing often bleakly humorous entries telling the fears and hardships of Iraqi citizens.

It was just simple things about what was happening in Baghdad so (Raed) could stay in touch with what was happening, Pax, 29, told BBC last year.


Church calls for right to marry gay couples

MEMBERS of an Edinburgh church have demanded the Scottish Executive pass new legislation to allow ministers to marry gay couples.

The Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) made the call before the Parliament’s Public Petitions Committee yesterday.

The church already conducts blessings for gay partners and believes they should be allowed to be wed by a religious minister. A Bill being considered at Westminster would permit civil registrars to record same-sex relationships and grant the same legal rights enjoyed by married couples.

The MCC wants the laws to go further and accused the Executive of trying to "squeeze" churches out.


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