poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Latino Members of Congress and Leaders of Prominent Latino Organizations Denounce Proposed Federal Marriage Amendment to Ban Same-Sex Marriage

Broadest Latino Opposition Announced Today

WASHINGTON, May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- Joining a growing and broad-based coalition to oppose a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage, top representatives of leading national Latino civil rights groups and Hispanic and Latino members of Congress will declare their opposition today tothe proposed constitutional amendment defining marriage throughout the United States as a union between a man and a woman.

The announcements -- May 12 at 9:30 AM in room 1416 Longworth of the House Office Building -- will take place during a LLEGO-organized press conference one day before the latest in a series of congressional and senate and subcommittee hearings on amending the U.S. Constitution in an attempt to permanently define marriage or the legal incidents thereof. President Bush has announced his support for this amendment.

Members of Congress scheduled to speak include Rep. Charles A. Gonzalez of Texas and Rep. Xavier Becerra of California.

"The President is proposing that we use the Constitution to limit the rights of a specific group of Americans in pursuit of a political agenda that abandons moral common sense, is counterproductive, and shuns both state's rights and the very liberties that this document grants all Americans as well," said Rep. Becerra. "This policy may be conservative, but it most certainly is not compassionate."


White paper on single equality body launched
Ben Townley, UK

The government has published its White Paper on the newly proposed single equality body, which it claims will help reduce discrimination and prejudice across the country.

The Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) will replace existing commissions, which deal with issues regarding diversity separately. It will also introduce new ways of ensuring legislation intended to cover lesbian and gay people will be enforced.

Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt said the new commission would help cover the UK's diverse communities more effectively.

"As individuals, our identities are diverse and complex," she said at this morning's launch.
"People don't just define themselves as just a woman, or black, or gay and neither should our equality organisations. People and their problems should not be put in boxes."

Groups ask court to uphold divorce granted to Sioux City lesbian couple

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- A prominent gay rights group and the American Civil Liberties Union have asked the Iowa Supreme Court to uphold a divorce granted by an Iowa judge to a lesbian couple.

The Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund filed its friend-of-the-court brief Monday.

The state's high court in February agreed to review a divorce decree granted last November by Woodbury County District Judge Jeffrey Neary to two Sioux City women. Neary later reworded the decree to refer to civil union instead of marriage.

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, six state lawmakers and an Iowa church had appealed Neary's ruling, arguing that he overstepped his authority because Iowa law does not recognize gay marriage.


A petty win for Romney
By Eileen McNamara
Having failed to prevail in the judicial arena on a profound question of equal rights, Governor Mitt Romney has been reduced to scoring a petty procedural victory over many same-sex couples planning to marry this month.

He won't let them choose who will officiate at their weddings.

For a small fee, governors routinely grant one-day waivers to those unlicensed to perform marriages in Massachusetts to preside at weddings of friends and family. But the Romney administration is refusing to rule on requests from same-sex couples -- some filed months ago -- until gay marriage actually becomes state law on May 17. For couples planning to wed in the next few weeks, the governor's 11th-hour decisions mean they must either bank on being approved or scramble for a back-up justice of the peace.

Since the application stipulates that a review takes four to six weeks, Debby Avitable and Michele Ford mailed their request the first week in March. Hearing nothing, Ford and Avitable of Pocasset asked their state representative, Matthew Patrick, to inquire on their behalf. "We were told more than once that since gay marriage is not legal until May 17, applications would not be reviewed until then," Patrick said yesterday. "We made several calls and got nowhere. What else can you deduce but that they are not going to cooperate?"


Dems irate at Downer's gay slurs

FOREIGN Minister Alexander Downer should apologise for disgraceful comments linking homosexuality with paedophilia, the Australian Democrats said today.

Mr Downer, commenting on the suicide in a Balinese jail of convicted paedophile William Stuart Brown, said that the former diplomat had been an "in-your-face" homosexual who had long been suspected of molesting children


Gay marriage foes will let weddings go without hitch
By Thomas Caywood

After six months of railing and rallying against the Supreme Judicial Court's controversial gay marriage ruling, opposition groups say they have no plans to crash the wedding party Monday.

     Even so, Boston police will be out in force at City Hall to quell any pre-wedding jitters.
 ``What we are looking for really is just to manage the crowd in an orderly way,'' Boston police Superintendent James Claiborne said.

     City officials expect hundreds of would-be same-sex spouses to happily mob City Hall. Leading gay marriage opponents said they'll concede the spotlight Monday after a rally Friday night.

Expanded ban on same-sex unions posed
Bill aims to put referendum on ballot
By Gary D. Robertson
The Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. - Voters could decide this fall whether to place a same-sex marriage ban in North Carolina's constitution with a bill introduced in the state Senate.

The measure, sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Jim Forrester, would place a referendum on the Nov. 2 ballot asking whether the state should add the ban on same-sex marriage to the constitution.

The bill was turned in to the Senate clerk late Tuesday and will be filed officially today.

"We ought to let the people decide and let them vote on it," said Forrester, R-Gaston. "I think the vast majority of people would be voting as marriage as between one man and one woman."


Gay marriage appeal brought by former Boston mayor dismissed

BOSTON -- An appeal by former Boston mayor and Vatican Ambassador Raymond Flynn seeking to reverse the Supreme Judicial Court's decision legalizing gay marriage has been dismissed, Flynn said Tuesday night.

The case was scheduled to be heard Wednesday in Suffolk Superior Court. Flynn said the judge, Paul E. Troy, declined to hear the case because it was similar to a previous appeal brought by 13 state lawmakers earlier this month. That case was unanimously dismissed by the SJC.

The SJC ruled in that case that the lawmakers' motion was untimely, because the case had already been decided; that the same arguments had been raised by others and rejected during the court process; and that the assertion that the court had no jurisdiction was erroneous.

"Our attempt was to get people to vote on this issue, an up or down vote one way or the other," Flynn said. "People can understand when the vote goes against them -- when they're ignored, that's when frustration sets in."


Bishop confirms Anglican shake-up, in wake of gay row
Ben Townley, UK

The head of the Anglican commission into sexuality has admitted the Church may face a radical shake up so as to survive current tensions over gay clergy and same-sex relationships.

The commission, which was launched by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams earlier this year in a bid to stave off a full split in the Church, is expected to deliver options for the future by September.

But the Archbishop heading the inquiry has suggested that the future may see a complete rehash of how the 70 million strong communion exists and works together.

"There are parts of what we are up to that I think will come as a great surprise to the Anglican Communion," Irish primate Robin Eames told a news conference yesterday.


Husband hacks 'lesbian' wife to death

Kuala Lumpur - A Malaysian man slashed his wife to death in a fit of rage when he suspected she was having an affair with their maid, it was reported on Wednesday.

Mary Ann Remong, 34, died from severe head injuries after her husband attacked her with a meat cleaver in eastern Sabah state on Borneo island.

The 37-year-old man had confronted his wife, who worked as a teacher, accusing her of having an affair with their female maid. In a fit of rage, the suspect slashed the victim with the knife.

The couple, who have two children, had been separated for more than two months before the incident.

"The husband suspected that his wife was having a lesbian affair with their maid, a local girl. This angered him and so he went to confront his wife," a police source told the Malay-language Berita Harian daily.


Group plans retort to protest
Community plans support for City student
By Kristen Schorsch
Iowa City Press-Citizen

Waves of people stand in silence with their backs to picketers. Clad in red and white - City High colors - they hold their signs high, congratulating the City High Class of 2004.

That is what about 40 community members and City High students envisioned Tuesday as they discussed ways to counter Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church's plan to picket the school's commencement May 29.

"I hope that you can appreciate that the counterresponse is love," the Rev. Dee Lundberg, of Faith United Church of Christ, said during the meeting. "What we do for each other in the moment."

Westboro church members announced last week their plan to picket outside Carver-Hawkeye Arena during City High's graduation because City High senior Ilse Bendorf, 16, is a 2004 recipient of the Matthew Shepard Scholarship. The scholarship is awarded to gay students in honor of Shepard, a Wyoming college student who was beaten, tied to a fence and left for dead in 1998 because he was gay.

Westboro church member Fred Phelps Jr. said Iowa City's plan to counter the church's protest is similar to the church's ideas of expression and speech.


Gay marriage fuss clouds special session on tax reform
By Gazette Times

SALEM — The contentious fuss over gay marriage is producing a legislative split over plans for a June special session on tax reform.

Major tax overhaul is a long-discussed but elusive goal in Oregon politics.

Lawmakers, weary after two years of budget struggles as income tax revenue dropped, last year created an interim panel to "make recommendations on improvements to the state's tax system."

The idea was that a tax revision proposal might be sent to voters this November.
With a deadline just seven weeks away, the Joint Tax Reform Committee has held hearings around the state but has yet to come up with recommendations.


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