poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

More attacks in Northern Ireland
Ben Townley, UK

Weeks after a man had his house smeared with human faeces because he was gay, two more men have been attacked in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.

According to police two gay men were targeted in the city because of their sexuality. One was assaulted on Sunday morning, while the second was attacked on Monday. The latter attack took place in the city centre.

The attacks follow a seemingly growing number of attacks in the city, and Northern Ireland as a whole, with polls continually suggesting the province is in crisis over the homophobia.

Last year, one survey suggested that the vast majority of people across Northern Ireland thought homophobia was "justifiable and normal", while another found that more than a third of LGB young people had attempted suicide in the region because of ongoing harassment.


Council OKs gay marriage
motion Support shown despite audience half in favor of ban

TUMWATER -- The City Council voted Tuesday to support a resolution brought forward by gay rights advocates.

The resolution opposes an amendment to the U.S. Constitution banning same-sex marriage.

The 6-0 vote, with Councilman Jerry Murphy abstaining, came despite the fact that a slim majority of those who spoke at the council's public hearing on the matter Tuesday were against the resolution.

Of the 34 who spoke during the hearing, 18 said they opposed the resolution and same-sex marriage. Many of those opposed to the measure said they thought the council was overstepping its bounds by taking a stand on the issue.


Hampden lawmaker resubmits marriage definition legislation
By A. Jay Higgins

AUGUSTA - A state supreme court decision that precipitated dozens of same sex marriages Monday in Massachusetts has prompted a Hampden lawmaker to renew his pursuit of a constitutional amendment defining marriage in Maine."I figured I ought to put something in on this right away," said Rep. Brian Duprey, a Republican seeking re-election to House District 39, formerly District 114.

Duprey notified legislative officials Tuesday of his intent to introduce a bill in the 122nd Legislature creating a constitutional definition of marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman. During a constitutional convention this spring, the Massachusetts Legislature approved a similar constitutional definition that will go out to voters in 2006.

Duprey's Democratic opponent, Mary Poulin, of Hampden, said she thought there were more pressing issues of concern to the district's voters than the marriage definition sought by the two-term, GOP incumbent. Still, she said she understood the topic was one of some importance to Duprey and others.

"This [proposal] may or may not represent my point of view, but if that's what the people of the district would want, I would represent their wishes," Poulin said, adding she expects to discuss the issue with voters during the summer.


County commissioner who backed gay marriages re-elected, another in run-off

The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Multnomah County commissioner who helped clear the way for gay nuptials sailed back into office on Tuesday but a second failed to win a majority and will be forced into a run-off election in November.

The unilateral decision in March by four of five county commissioners to allow gay marriages became an issue in the campaigns of the three who were up for re-election Tuesday.

Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey was re-elected on Tuesday, but Lisa Naito failed to win the 51 percent needed and will be in a run-off. Both were involved in the decision to allow gay marriages.

A third commissioner, Lonnie Roberts — the only commissioner on the board who staunchily opposed gay marriages — won re-election, trouncing his opponent.


KKK plans protest near Dollywood during 'Gay Day'
Trademark issue drew attention to event

Members of the Ku Klux Klan say they plan to stage a protest outside the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on Saturday, where several thousand gay and lesbian parkgoers are expected for a ''Gay Day'' event.

About 20 protesters carrying banners — but not wearing hoods or robes — will demonstrate against homosexuality outside the park, said Randy Gray, a Klansman who has organized Klan rallies and protested at city council meetings in Newport, Tenn.

Dollywood officials have contacted police, who will step up patrols around the park on Saturday, said Pigeon Forge Police Chief Jack Baldwin.

''I don't foresee any problems, but if we do we'll just have to deal with it,'' Baldwin said.


'Hate crimes against lesbians on the rise'

Hate crimes against lesbians are on the increase, mainly in areas such as Soweto and Alexandra, the chief executive officer of the Forum for the Empowerment of Women has said.

Speaking at the ninth international conference of the South African Association of Marital and Family Therapy at the International Convention Centre on Tuesday, Donna Smith said the hate crimes ranged from murder, assault and abduction to rape and other humiliating forms of sexual abuse.

There had only been one conviction among the 46 cases reported to the centre since September 2002. 

"The police are apathetic, at best," Smith said.


L.A. Rally Opposes Gay Marriage 
by Chris T. Nguyen
The Associated Press

(Los Angeles, California)  About 200 people opposing same-sex marriages held a rally Tuesday, urging state lawmakers to vote against a proposed bill that would allow gay unions in California.

The gathering at Pershing Square came one day after Massachusetts became the first U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriages, and rally organizers that included several religious and community groups worried California would be next.

"The message we want to send is this - yesterday in Massachusetts same-sex marriages began. However, in California same-sex marriage ends today," said Luis Galdamez, spokesman for the Campaign for California Families. "And we need to take it to the politicians. ... What we want is marriage between one man and one woman."

Protesters shouted "no homosexual marriage" and waved signs, including one that read, "Let's not legalize immorality." Children, accompanied by their parents, also protested.


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