poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Saturday, May 22, 2004

A night of celebration for gay youth
Young couples take pride in first Prizm Prom in Lehigh Valley.
By Joanna Poncavage
Of The Morning Call

While 90 couples in pastel gowns and tuxedos gathered in the main ballroom of the Hotel Bethlehem for Palmerton Area High School's prom, a smaller, less traditional group was making history in the hotel's Terrace Room.

With flowers, colorful decorations, linen tablecloths and music, the Prizm Prom, the first gay prom in the Lehigh Valley, was officially under way.

Sponsored by Haven, a youth group at the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley, the Prizm Prom was open to all: homosexuals, bisexuals, transgender, intersex, questioning, allied and others — a group commonly labeled gay.

Most of the 60 or so young people there — who ranged in age from 14 to 21 — were from Lehigh Valley schools, but a group of young men from Harrisburg, some dressed to the nines in women's clothing, made it in time to enter the drag queen contest.


Bedford County Company fights gay marriages

Fiberglass-products maker has major role in lawsuit against two men
By Bill Toland, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The most recent spate of local and national stories on the issue of gay marriages has introduced us to the usual protagonists: elated newlyweds, laudatory social liberals, religious conservatives who vow to fight the unions and litigious lawmakers aplenty.

Oh, and a fiberglass company from Bedford County.

Creative Pultrusions Inc., based in tiny Alum Bank along Route 56, bills itself as "the world's most innovative leader in the fiber-reinforced polymer composites industry," making bridge decks, flooring, ladders and other items. To the surprise of many, including some employees, the company is now taking a leadership role as the sole corporate litigant in a politically charged lawsuit aimed at two gay men from Bucks County.

The men, partners for three decades, tried to get a marriage license in March, and had threatened a suit to appeal the denial of their license request.

Instead, a lawsuit was filed against the men last week. The suit bears the names of Creative Pultrusions as well as one Democratic and 11 Republican lawmakers, all of whom hope their complaint will persuade a judge to issue a statement in support of existing law, the state's 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and outflank any future suits from the couple in question, Robert Seneca and Stephen Stahl.


Doug Grow: Gay-marriage pioneers, again
Doug Grow,  Star Tribune

Long before gay marriage became a sizzling contemporary issue, Jack Baker and Michael McConnell were receiving a Minnesota marriage license and saying their vows before a Methodist minister.

In 1971, that license and marriage were invalidated by the state and, over time, the couple slipped -- or got pushed -- into the background of the gay rights movement.

But on Tuesday, the 34th anniversary of their first attempt to file for a marriage license,
Baker and McConnell were making news again. They filed suit in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis, claiming that the Internal Revenue Service has violated their right to due process by refusing to allow them to file a joint tax return.

"Their suit is based on the fact they've had an enduring relationship after having a license granted by the state in a marriage solemnized by a clergyman," said attorney Larry Leventhal, who is assisting the couple in the suit.


All in a week's time, gentleman farmer Bourn's a selectman and a married man
By Meredith Goldstein, Globe Staff

Lane Bourn has had plenty of reasons to celebrate.

Last week, he won his race for a Rowley selectman seat by more than twice the votes of the second-place finisher. He became the first-ever fourth selectman in Rowley as the town, over time, expands its board to five members.

This past Monday, Bourn married his longtime partner, Stuart Wells, in front of family, friends, and a small contingent of media representatives. It's been several weeks of being in the spotlight, for personal and professional reasons.

"It's not a problem," he said, of the national attention focused on his marriage. He welcomed reporters from as far away as London to his home for the wedding. "I understand there's a certain level of role model-ness with this."

Bourn already had entered into a civil union with Wells. The two traveled to Vermont on July 1, 2000, the first day the couple was legally able to be recognized in that state, just as they did Monday in Newburyport when same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts.


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