poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Friday, May 14, 2004

Report may say D.C. must OK Mass. marriages
Mayor weighs response as May 17 nears

A legal opinion by the city’s corporation counsel, which D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams says he is not ready to release, states that District law requires the city to recognize legally sanctioned same-sex marriages issued by Massachusetts and other states, according to a District government source.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said news of the opinion prepared by Corporation Counsel Robert Spagnoletti has been circulating among the mayor’s top aides and other District government officials. Spagnoletti, who is gay, serves as the city’s top lawyer.

Washington Post columnist Marc Fischer reported on May 11 that a “government official” who has reviewed the contents of Spagnoletti’s opinion disclosed to the Post that the opinion holds that the city “must” recognize same-sex marriages performed by other states.

Reports of the contents of Spagnoletti’s opinion came as Williams was deliberating how to respond to a letter from Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, which asks the mayor whether he would grant Massachusetts permission to marry same-sex couples who live in D.C.


Lesbian Rabbi Finally Gets Turn As Bride
By ADAM GORLICK Associated Press Writer

As a rabbi, Lisa Freitag-Keshet has joined countless couples in marriage, sanctifying those unions before God and the government.
Throughout it all, she found herself doling out legal rights to which she and her lesbian partner were never entitled.
Until now.
The nation's first state-sanctioned gay marriages are scheduled to begin in Massachusetts on Monday. And on May 30 the rabbi and her partner of eight years will be married by a justice of the peace in a short, private ceremony that will finally give them the legal recognition that was absent from the religious ceremony they had almost five years ago.


Bisexuality topic at panel discussion

Gazette-Times reporter

It's not easy being gray.

Humans have a strong dislike of ideas that don't fit in boxes. Black and white, dichotomous notions are much easier to wrap our brains around. You're either a girl or a boy. You're either straight or gay. And once you choose, that's what you're stuck with forever.

So when you don't easily fit into the either/or view of the world, it makes people uncomfortable. It's confusing to not be able to easily classify the person standing in front of you, or sitting down the aisle from you on the bus, or smiling at you from across the bar. It's a world that makes it especially difficult for those identifying themselves as bisexual.

"We all have some misconceptions to work out," said Oregon State University student Tony Robbins, who spoke Thursday on a panel about understanding bisexuality as part of Pride Week at OSU.
The panel attempted to address some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding bisexuality, and its tenuous role as a sexuality that is viewed with suspicion on both the gay and straight sides of the "fence."


Students join project to bring gay issues to the forefront
Dana Voloshen
Timberline High School

In recent years, our society has taken steps to minimize the oppression of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals. On April 21, Timberline High School students participated in the Day of Silence Project, a national movement to end such violence and discrimination.

The annual event requires its participants not to speak for the day to mirror the silence faced by homosexual or bisexual people. It's recommended to stop speaking in a group, then break the silence together at a prearranged time.

Participating Timberline students found out about the event at the last minute and did not get a chance to recruit more people, they said. Senior Laura Fuller said eight THS students were involved in the project.

"My friend Amber stumbled across the official Web site. Apparently, she heard about it from a friend online," Fuller said.

In 1996, University of Virginia students organized the first Day of Silence. The idea quickly gained nationwide recognition. It is now run through the Gay Lesbian & Straight Education Network.


Rights ordinance reviewers focus on wordsmithing
By Barney Lerten

May 13 - Any lingering trepidation about having a panel of citizens review the city of Bend’s proposed anti-discrimination ordinance likely was erased by the constructive tone of its first meeting, with proposals to clarify and strengthen the wording, legally – and even to change its name to the “Equal Rights Ordinance.”

“I just think it (the name) is much more positive,” said the person who suggested it, Garth Jackson, CEO of the Orthopaedic and Neurological Center of the Cascades – and, by the way, a member of the Bend Chamber of Commerce board of directors, which had been sharply critical of the proposal to extend protections to the areas of sexual orientation and gender identity.


Va. boy with 2 dads harassed in school
Gay family featured in Equality Va. ad campaign

When Matthew Boyer and Michael Sebastiani agreed to appear in an advertisement for Equality Virginia denouncing the recent passage of an anti-gay law in Virginia, they wanted to show that their entire family would be impacted. To get that message across, their two sons appeared in the ad with them.

But in the weeks before the ad was set to appear, they were faced with every gay parent’s nightmare: they discovered that their older son was being harassed at school for having two gay dads.

“It made me really upset. It made me feel guilty because my son was being caused pain because of the person who I love,” said Boyer, the 10-year-old boy’s biological father, who shares joint custody with the boy’s mother. He asked that his son’s name not be used in this article.

“I was obviously upset. I had hoped that it would be a little further down the road before we would have to deal with this. I immediately talked to him and tried to find out exactly what the situation was.”


Homosexuality vote delay asked
Tribune news services

MINNEAPOLIS -- A local leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is trying to persuade denominational leaders to delay a divisive final vote on homosexuality next year.

Bishop Peter Rogness of the St. Paul Area Synod sent an e-mail to his 425 pastors asking if it would be better to pray about the issue than vote on it. The St. Paul synod is the third-largest in the 5 million-member church.

"Can we agree that living with these differing perspectives for a time might be less harmful for the church?" Rogness wrote. "Can we agree that it is more important for us to be a church that prays about these matters than a church that votes about them?"

The ELCA is scheduled to vote at its August 2005 assembly on whether to ordain sexually active gays and authorize an official rite to bless same-sex unions.


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