poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Marriage protest set for District
Couples to demand licenses; GLAA calls effort ‘misguided’

In a rebuke to two of D.C.’s more prominent gay rights groups, a small band of local gay activists is planning a protest in which same-sex couples will apply for marriage licenses at the D.C. Superior Courthouse on May 17, the day the nation’s first state-sanctioned gay marriages are set to begin being issued in Massachusetts.

The group, known as Don’t Amend-D.C., is organizing the protest, despite efforts by members of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club and the Gay & Lesbian Activists Alliance to persuade Mayor Anthony Williams and the City Council to avoid any same-sex marriage initiatives until after the November election.

“The No. 1 purpose of this rally is to raise the visibility of the issue, and to say without dispute that there are couples in D.C. ready for us to move forward on this issue,” said David Mariner, one of the group’s organizers. “We have a supportive City Council and a supportive mayor, so what are we waiting for?”

Williams and at least eight of the 13 City Council members have indicated they support extending marriage benefits to gay couples in the District. But members of GLAA and the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club have asked the city to delay addressing the issue because of fears that conservative members in Congress might retaliate against the city by banning gay marriage in the D.C. Charter and possibly rolling back pro-gay measures already on the books.


Backers of amendment forbidding gay marriages to collect signatures

COLUMBUS - Backers of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions in Ohio will start collecting signatures this morning to put the issue on the Nov. 2 ballot.

"We believe the faith community will weigh in on this big time," said Phil Burress, president of Citizens for Community Values. "Most people in the faith community see marriage as God-ordained."

A coalition called the Ohio Campaign to Protect Marriage faces an Aug. 4 deadline to collect at least 322,899 signatures of registered voters.

So far, 22 groups including members of the Christian Coalition of Ohio, the American Family Association, Focus on the Family, and the Family Research Council will take part in the petition drive, Mr. Burress said.


Gay Day, provoked by Tennessee county's gay ban, helps woman end her secrecy
BILL POOVEY, Associated Press Writer --

More than 400 people turned out Saturday for a Rhea County Gay Day celebration prompted by the county commission's vote to ban homosexuals and have them arrested for "crimes against nature."

That commission vote in March, although reversed two days later, changed Diana Cunningham's life.

"It enraged me. That meant they were going to ban me," Cunningham said at Saturday's celebration at a park.

Cunningham, of nearby Spring City, said the gay day gathering allowed her to "go one step further in admitting who I am," after knowing for more than 30 years that she is a lesbian.


Gay Germans settling into civil unions
3 years into law, debate still rages on how far rights should go
01:59 PM CDT on Saturday, May 8, 2004
By TOD ROBBERSON / The Dallas Morning News

BERLIN – The gnarly pair of deer antlers hanging over Lukas and Alexander's dining room conveys the clear message that this is an apartment where real men live.

The pink, orange and purple wallpaper covering an adjacent wall leaves little doubt that this is also a place where real gay men live, Alexander conceded with a laugh.

As lifetime partners who have exchanged vows in a civil union, Alexander and Lukas now get to share most of the advantages and responsibilities that married heterosexual couples have under German law. But, also like married couples, their shared lives involve some serious compromises when it comes to important decisions, such as the personal touches that make a dwelling a home.

"I'm more into the stylish things," Alexander said of his preference for the colorful wallpaper, although he insisted that "we chose it together."


Using the Courts to Wage a War on Gay Marriage
LONGWOOD, Fla. — The map that hangs above Liberty Counsel's weekly planning meeting measures the small firm's national reach, with color-coded tabs marking the status of 33 active cases in 13 states.

Their agenda: stop same-sex marriage by using the courts.

From an unmarked beige tin warehouse near a railway line at an address they insist on keeping secret, Liberty Counsel has employed a range of legal tactics to fight same-sex marriage across the country

"This is the central command center for the defense of traditional marriage against the same-sex marriage movement," said Mathew D. Staver, president, general counsel and founder of the firm. "We will use every means the law can provide."


Experts leery of new Va. anti-C.U. law
Ban on contracts between gay couples may be unconstitutional

RICHMOND, Va. — By adding the words “civil union” to its Defense of Marriage Act, Virginia joined the ranks of two other states officially and specifically banning the legal alternative to same-sex marriage.

But additional language in the Virginia legislation far surpassed even Texas and Nebraska — as well as the other 47 states — in the limitations it placed on legal recognition of same-sex couples, according to national advocacy groups.

The Marriage Affirmation Act, passed by the Virginia General Assembly late last month and set to become law in July, outlaws “any partnership contract or other arrangements that purport to provide the benefits of marriage,” in addition to prohibiting the state from recognizing civil unions.

Both gay rights advocates and independent legal scholars agreed the nation’s now most strongly worded anti-marriage statute could have considerable impact on the ability of same-sex couples to enter into legal agreements with each


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