poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Oxford Union Society Grants Gay and Lesbian Equality
By Katherine Haddon, PA News

The Oxford Union Society has passed an amendment which will give gay and lesbian partners of members the same rights as heterosexual spouses, its president said today.

The rule change will mean that if a gay or lesbian member of the Union takes part in a “gay marriage”, as proposed in the Civil Partnerships Bill, their partner will also be eligible for life membership.

The measures will come into effect when the Civil Partnerships Bill, which was published in March, comes into force, expected to be in 2005.

Until now, only husbands or wives of heterosexual members of the Union have been eligible for election under its rules on spouses.


Blumenthal: Gay weddings not legal in Connecticut
 By Laura Walsh
Associated Press

HARTFORD -- Connecticut law does not allow for same-sex marriage, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said yesterday, but he declined to say whether the state will recognize the marriage licenses issued to gay couples in neighboring Massachusetts.

Blumenthal's opinion comes in response to queries from local officials in Connecticut and a letter from Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney questioning whether laws in any other state permitted gay couples to marry.

Blumenthal said Connecticut statutes do not authorize the issuance of marriage license to same-sex couples. The statutes refer repeatedly to a "bride" and a "groom, and a "husband" and a "wife," which are commonly understood to refer to a man and a woman, Blumenthal said.


Bucks men vow to sue to be wed
A case was brought against them. They want to challenge a Pa. law banning same-sex marriage.
By Walter F. Naedele
Inquirer Staff Writer

Stephen Stahl was furious.

"I'm coming out with both fists in front of my face," Stahl said yesterday. "I'm ready to fight hard."

On the day Massachusetts began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Stahl said he and his partner, Robert Seneca, had hired a lawyer to challenge Pennsylvania law forbidding them to marry.

Stahl was reacting to a lawsuit filed on Friday against the New Hope couple by 12 state legislators and a firm in Western Pennsylvania.

The complaint asks Bucks County Court for a declaratory judgment stating that Pennsylvania's Defense of Marriage Act and the state's marriage law are "constitutional under both the federal and state constitutions even though they do not allow same-sex couples to marry."

A professor of constitutional law at Temple University said yesterday that the suit sounded like "a political stunt" and questioned the legislators' legal standing in filing it.


350 rally in Trenton for gay 'day of history'
It was part celebration of same-sex marriages in Mass., part strategy session for N.J. Joy and optimism abounded.
By Kristen A. Graham

TRENTON - Men stood in crowded aisles, toting toddlers on their shoulders. Women held hands and carried signs.

More than 350 people gathered here last night for a town meeting and rally that was part celebration of a milestone elsewhere in the gay community, part strategy session about what is to come for New Jersey.

"It's a day of history," Diane Marini of Haddonfield said to wild audience cheers. "We are excited for our gay brothers and sisters in Massachusetts who now have the legal right to marry."


70% in poll back ban of gay unions 
Sides prepare to stress views on amendment 
The Courier-Journal

Most Kentuckians favor a state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages or civil unions, according to The Courier-Journal's Bluegrass Poll.

The poll, taken May 5-11, found that 70percent of Kentuckians favor the amendment that will be on the ballot in the Nov.2 general election. About 25percent oppose the measure, and about 6 percent were undecided or refused to say how they will vote, the poll found. Because of rounding, the numbers do not total 100.


R.I. to recognize legal gay weddings
ROBERT H. REID Associated Press Writer
Associated Press Writer

PROVIDENCE -- Attorney General Patrick Lynch said Monday that under his interpretation of state law, Rhode Island would recognize any marriage legally performed in another state, as long as the marriage wasn’t contrary to public policy.

However, he left the definition of public policy to either the General Assembly or the courts. He also left it to the courts to decide whether same-sex marriages can be legally performed in Rhode Island.


NJ Could Be Next Battleground For Same-Sex Marriages
(New York-WABC) — The next battleground over same-sex marriage could be New Jersey.

Yesterday, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize gay marriages as hundreds of couples exchanged vows.

In Trenton last night, more than 100 couples gathered to learn about New Jersey's New Domestic Partnership Act.

It takes effect July 10th and it assures gay couples that among other things, they can make medical decisions for each other and file joint tax returns.

Still, there is a lawsuit to force the state to recognize gay marriage. If the lawsuit succeeds gay marriages could be a reality in New Jersey by next summer.


Activists oppose plan to ban gay marriage
The Kansas City Star

Within minutes of the Missouri legislature's vote to propose a ban on gay marriage, activists began organizing to defeat the referendum when it goes before voters later this year.

The group, known as the Constitution Defense League, was unveiled Monday at news conferences in Kansas City, St. Louis, Columbia and Springfield. Campaign manager Doug Gray, a Kansas City political consultant, said the group was made up of gay and straight people who oppose adding a formal policy of discrimination to Missouri's Constitution.

Helen Cohen of Kansas City said she was taking part in the campaign because she wants her gay son to have the same rights and opportunities as her straight daughters. Instead of dealing with problems such as crumbling roads and weak schools, lawmakers are taking up issues that divide people and instill hatred, she said.

“This is part of the right-wing attempt to keep us wrapped up in fear and hysteria,” Cohen said. “These are the types of issues that keep the fear level high and keep in office those politicians who say they will protect us from all these evil people.”


Groups hold out for public furor before acting
By Rick Klein, Globe Staff

Opponents of gay marriage said yesterday they are counting on a backlash to the legalization of same-sex marriages in Massachusetts to help them marshal public support, as they fight to get the Supreme Judicial Court's ruling overturned.

Groups that oppose gay marriage held only scattered protests during the first 24 hours that gay couples could obtain marriage licenses, with leaders saying they wished to avoid ugly conflicts and to show respect for the rule of law. But they made clear that they would try to change the law any way they can -- through the courts, the Legislature, and this fall's campaigns.

"The horse is out of the gate, but we're in this thing as well, and this steeplechase has a lot of hurdles ahead of it," said Kristian M. Mineau, acting president of the Massachusetts Family Institute, a leading antigay-marriage group. "This is going to gain national prominence, and I think that helps us. People will wake up around the nation."

Lobbyists for some groups that oppose gay marriage made the rounds at the State House yesterday, encouraging lawmakers to continue to stand up against gay marriage. Their most immediate agenda item was asking House and Senate members to oppose a proposal that would make it far easier for out-of-state gay couples to wed in Massachusetts.


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